Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has lost his father, James, a few days to the crucial Ghana – Zambia 2014 World Cup qualifying game in Kumasi.
The Chelsea midfielder arrived in Ghana on Sunday evening to the sad news and confirmed it via Twitter.
“It’s hard to take but God knows best. Thanks a lot for the support and well wishes. R.I.P Father!!!!,” the 30-year-old player who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid tweeted.
Moments after that tweet, the official Twitter handle of Chelsea also added: “Everybody at Chelsea FC is saddened to hear of the passing of Michael Essien's dad. Our thoughts are with him.”
Essien is part of a 26-man squad called up by Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah for the Zambia game as well as an international friendly against Japan on September 10.
He becomes the latest Ghana player to lose a loved one after William Amamoo, John Boye, Asamoah Gyan, Isaac Vorsah and Anthony Annan.