Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan has denied rumours linking him to alleged spiritual sacrifice of Ghanaian rapper Castro.
Castro and his girlfriend Janet Badu went missing in July while on holiday with Gyan’s family at the Ada resort in Ghana; riding on jet skis, Castro, real name Theophilus Tagoe, and Ms Badu were initially presumed drowned.
However, after the bodies were not found speculation in the Ghanaian press linked Gyan to an alleged "spiritual sacrifice" of Mr Tagoe.
Gyan, who currently plays in Abu Dhabi, previously refused to answer questions on the matter but made the decision to hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to stop the speculation spreading any further.
A statement, read by lawyer Kissi Agyabeng and posted on Gyan's website, attacked the media for "wild allegations and rumours … ranging from the absurd – of the imputation of criminality to [Gyan] in the sense that he either murdered Castro or had him kidnapped – and ending with the ludicrous – that he sacrificed him spiritually to enhance his career.
"We have been silent while these wild allegations and rumours have been peddled in the media. We have been silent not because we are concealing anything or that we do not feel the need to fully state what, from our reckoning, had happened in Ada. We have been silent because we did not want to interfere with police investigations."
The statement continued: "In our painful silence, we have been totally dismayed by the fact that the platform was provided for the peddling of these wild and ludicrous allegations and rumours against us. Those to whom the platform was provided offered no evidence whatsoever to back their statements. And indeed, the allegation of spiritual sacrifice can by no stretch of the imagination be propped up.
"We take the opportunity and state without the slightest doubt in our minds that we are not blamable for the disappearance of Castro and Janet Bandu. We had no hand in that occurrence. We have no moral or legal culpability whatsoever. None of us rode out into the open estuary with Castro and Janet Bandu. Castro rode out there on his own volition and none of us have the slightest idea as to what happened to them.
"We have only been guess working and conjecturing and making what appears to us to be intelligent deductions – in light of the facts available to us, especially the fact that when they rode out on the jet ski Janet Bandu was not wearing a life jacket … We are in unimaginable pain and shock and we will give anything to Castro and Janet back."
Gyan’s statement then appealed to the media to end the speculation.
It read: "We humbly call for a truce between the Gyan brothers on the one hand, and the media on the other hand. We are reaching out a friendly hand to journalists and the media. Please accept it. It is time to let the matter rest."
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