Michael Essien did not write to the Ghana FA to confirm his availability for the Black Stars because he did not retire from the national team, says the spokesman of the federation.
The Chelsea midfielder shocked the football world on Tuesday when he was named in the squad to face Zambia in a World Cup qualifier in Kumasi next month.
The 30-year-old was returning to the Ghana fold after a mutually agreed two-year international exile from the Black Stars.
Essien sought permission from the GFA to stay out of Ghana’s matches to enable him regain his form at Chelsea after suffering two career threatening injuries while playing for his country.
His critics are now arguing that he should have been made to write a letter just like the Ayew brothers and Kevin Prince Boateng when they returned to action for Ghana last week.
However, the GFA spokesman Ibrahim Sannie Daara insists that Essien did not quit international football unlike the trio who wrote to announce their decision to quit the Black Stars.
“Essien did not retire from international football so there is need for him to write a letter. That means that he was still available to play for Ghana,” Sannie Daara said on a local radio station.
“He was facing a very difficult time in his career and the GFA gave a sympathetic ear to his concerns especially when he had suffered career threatening injuries while playing for Ghana.
“As the Ayew brothers and Kevin wrote to say they were not available for the country, technical they were not available to be selected by Ghana again. So a letter was needed to confirm that they are available for Ghana once again.
“Let me state emphatically that Essien did not quit the national team. While he was away he was still available for Ghana so there was no need for him to write a letter.
“If Ghana had insisted that while Essien was away that we wanted him for a match, Chelsea would be compelled to release him. We had an understanding with Essien.”
Essien’s availability for the Black Stars is a massive confidence boost for the Ghanaians ahead of the game against the Chipolopolo that will decide who will reach the final phase of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.