Ayew declares peace as he returns

By Michael Oti AdjeiBBC Sport, Accra
Andre Ayew
Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew hopes Ghana's 2014 World Cup campaign will not be derailed by his and brother Jordan's return.

Much of the talk ahead of the decisive clash against Zambia in September is not about the match itself.

Instead, the spotlight is very much on the brothers' return from self-imposed international exile.

A high-profile rift with coach Kwesi Appiah triggered an extraordinary chain of events that saw Andre quit the Black Stars back in February.

Jordan also threw his toys out of the pram and followed his brother into retirement.

But their brief stay in the international wilderness is over, and Andre is intent on helping Ghana make it to next year's World Cup.

"I have always played for Ghana with my heart; people can say what they want but that's their problem," the 23-year-old midfielder told BBC Sport.

"I have played injured for my country and done my best, and will continue to do that."

Although his ability to turn a match on its head has won widespread admiration since making his Ghana debut aged 17 in 2008, Andre has had to put up with accusations that he is a disruptive and divisive influence in the side.

But the man often touted as a future Black Stars skipper bristles at the suggestion that he is a source of tension in camp,

"For seven years I have had difficulties in the national team but never complained, I never said anything.

"But sometimes when things get to a certain point, when people do certain things to humiliate you, that's when you say 'enough is enough'.

"I have had issues with certain players but we all grow out of it. They learn and I learn, and we move on. It's not about the players."

It is an open secret that the Ayew brothers - like their legendary father Abedi Pele - sharply divide opinion in Ghana.

But Andre and Jordan, who both play for French Ligue 1 club Marseille, are also aware that they remain two of the best players in the land.

"If it was so easy then the children of players who were bigger than my dad would be playing," said Andre, in a thinly-veiled barb at critics who accuse him of riding on the coattails of his famous father.

"Nobody gave me my professional contract; I worked hard to get what I have today.

"People in Ghana say things that hurt but football is not supposed to be like that. Football is supposed to unite.

"Having a father like Abedi is a real honour. Like every human being he has his good and bad sides because nobody is perfect but I can only learn from him and what he achieved.

"In Marseille people know me and know how hard I have worked through the ranks and they give me more respect."

Andre - nicknamed 'Dede' - believes there is no need for him to keep his head down as he reintegrates himself into the Black Stars fold.

"I am going to be myself. I am going to be the same Dede."