Andre Ayew wasted no time rebuffing any talk of revenge on behalf of his father when he plays for Ghana against the Ivory Coast in Sunday’s African Nations Cup final. The storyline of French-based Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan winning the title which eluded their father Abedi Pele when the two countries last met in the final, in 1992, was probed by reporters.
But the 25-year-old Andre, the elder of the brothers who plays for Olympique Marseille, scowled at the first question and attempted to quash the angle.
“There is no revenge at all, we play only for our country,” he said. “It’s a match for Ghana.The history of 1992 is not the history of this team. We are playing only for the Ghanaians all over the world and to get the trophy back to Ghana.”
Ayew was asked if his father had called with any advice.
“Not at all,” he said coldly.
Abedi Pele was the leading player in the Ghana side who dominated the 1992 Nations Cup in Senegal but picked up a second yellow card of the tournament in the semifinal and was controversially suspended for the deciding match.
The image of him sitting on the bench in a red coat during the final remains a bitter memory for Ghana, who lost 11-10 on penalties to the Ivorians after a goalless draw in Dakar.
Andre Ayew has many of the characteristic that made his father the best African footballer of his day
Abedi Pele does, however, own a Nations Cup winner’s medal – he was a teenager when he played in the team who won the west African country’s fourth and last title in Libya in 1982.
Andre Ayew has many of the characteristic that made his father the best African footballer of his day. He has a bandy-legged running style, quick turn of pace, strong dribbling skills and ability to dip a shoulder and change direction to ease past opponents.
“I think he’ll be the key player for Ghana in the final,” Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard said.
Jordan Ayew, who plays for Lorient, is a more direct attacker who is too often caught in possession but can be a problem for opposing defences with his movement. Both were born in France during their father’s spells at Lille and Marseille, a team Abedi Pele helped win the European Champions League in 1993.