Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has been given indefinite compassionate leave by his English club Chelsea to attend his father’s (James Essien, a former Hearts of Oak player, passed away on September 2 in his native country after battling illness) funeral this weekend.
Essien will bury his father in a traditional three-day Ghanaian funeral in his hometown of Gomoa Odobeng in the central region of Ghana.
With the funeral rites starting on Friday evening, Essien will arrive in Ghana with his London-based family to attend the farewel ceremony for his father.
This means the midfielder will sit out Saturday’s home game against West Brom.
“I cannot find the words to express my sadness,” Essien said when he heard of the death of his father in September.
A high-powered Ghana FA delegation including president Kwesi Nyantakyi and other top executives will travel to support the Ghana international at the funeral.
Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah and his technical team are also expected to attend the funeral to offer their support to the midfielder.
He becomes the latest Ghana player to lose a loved one after William Amamoo, John Boye, Asamoah Gyan, Isaac Vorsah and Anthony Annan.