Michael Essien is putting his Ghana career on hold to concentrate on club matters after his return from his long term injury.
The Chelsea midfielder is back playing again after picking up a knee injury on Ghana duty at the Nations Cup in January and has played the full length of both Chelsea’s official games this season.
But reports say he has decided to concentrate on club matters in the meantime effectively ruling him out of Ghana’s opening Nations Cup qualifier against Swaziland in September.
Essien reportedly said: “I think I will be taking a break. Not retiring, just not playing all the time. I have to take the right decision for myself.
“I don’t know whether they will be disappointed because they have done fine without me.”
Rumours of Essien’s intentions to put his international career on hold began circulating last weekend. KickOffGhana.com has learnt from close associates of the player that he is grossly unhappy with the attention he got from the country’s football authorities during his long term injury.
That though will not stop the certain backlash that will follow if the reports are confirmed especially for a player whose commitment has been questioned by his critics.
Only this week Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac had said he was looking forward to the player’s return.
“Michael is still an important component of this side, he is a special player,” Rajevac told FIFA.com. “Essien brings a special dimension to this team. We are looking forward in having him back with us.”
Essien has 51 caps for Ghana and has represented the country at every level except for the Olympics.