In a statement released on Monday, the 33-year-old Kayserispor striker - Ghana's most capped and all-time top scorer of 51 goals in 106 matches - cited displeasure about the technical team's decision to strip him of the captaincy and rather be handed the less prestigious 'General Captain' role usually held by a very senior member of the team.
Rumours before the announcement were that deputy skipper Andre Ayew - who has long been involved in a dispute with Gyan over the armband - was going to be named new captain for the June 21-July 19 tournament.
While the situation has clearly divided opinions, many, upon Gyan's announcement, are of the view that a good way to settle the dispute will be to altogether hand the captaincy to Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Teye Partey.
Below are some reactions on social media upon Gyan's retirement:
What a disastrous build up to a tournament. No winners in this.
— Michael Oti Adjei (@OtiAdjei) May 20, 2019
Most important part of @ASAMOAH_GYAN3 decision to retire:— Gary = AFCON mode. (@garyalsmith) May 20, 2019
"If the decision of the coach is to give captaincy of the tournament to another player while I am named in the team of the tournament, I wish to recuse myself from the tournament"
I think we all know who this refers to. pic.twitter.com/NrNKdJg8SN
In the end it looks like the captaincy issue was the back breaker. How one band has caused so much friction in a team beats my mind. Hand the band to Thomas Partey and let's move on from this.— Godfred Akoto Boafo (@eastsportsman) May 20, 2019
Thomas Partey gets to be Ghana captian at the African Cup of Nation's in Egypt ahead of Andre Ayew. Bold decisions. I pray Andre doesn't follow Gyans lead and retire as well .— Benjamin Epton (@mrepton_) May 20, 2019
Thiago Silva and Kompany lost their captaincy to Neymar and Hazard. None of them retired. Gyan can fuck off.— General Atopa (A good Ato) (@wofa_slayzie) May 20, 2019
We all know the reason why Asamoah Gyan has retired from the Black Stars. I'm proud of him, he was bold and straight to the point. The captaincy was the issue. The Black Stars will be worst off if Andre Ayew is made captain. We need to move on from Ayew & Gyan. Dawn of a new era.— Collins Atta Poku (@PapaPoku) May 20, 2019
Black Stars and drama. They always go together.— Nathan Quao (@nathan_quao) May 20, 2019
Brazil took the captain from Thiago Silva for Neymar, yet Silva is still playing. Wearing captain armband doesn’t necessarily means you better off than other players.— ŃK• (@NanaKwedwo) May 20, 2019
You can't name Gyan in this team not name him captain. You can't. He made the best decision because that camp would have been something else.— SITSO (@OfficialSitso) May 20, 2019
Not every coach is a manager. KA is one of those. There was no need for this. Gyan wasn't going to play regularly any1. Ayew would still have won it.— Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo (@Fentuo) May 20, 2019
Gyan's reaction is even worse. He's not there to represent the band but the country. The arm band is gone, but the team remains.
Black Stars and drama before and after tournaments. We have seen it all.— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) May 20, 2019