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Ghana controversy damages African hopes of image change

Published on: 28 June 2014
Ghana players being paid their appearance fees in Brazil.


Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari have been sent home for disciplinary reasons as Ghana, who were the continent's form team coming into the tournament, were plunged deeper into crisis just hours before they attempt to stay in the World Cup in their final group game against Portugal.

It added to an image of squabbling players and officials more interested in the cash rewards of the World Cup than achieving success on the field, entrenching stereotypes Africa had been hoping to dispel in Brazil.

Ghana, who must beat Portugal in Brasilia on Thursday to stand any chance of reaching the last 16, have been in crisis since the start of week, boycotting training to force payment of promised money which arrived at their hotel on Wednesday.

Brazilian television showed pictures on Thursday of defender John Boye kissing a wad of dollars and other images of an unidentified official handing out cash from a large envelope.

Media reports said the players had received between $75,000 and 100,000 each after the country's president flew over $3 million to appease the mutinous players, who wanted payment in cash rather than by electronic transfer.

Cameroon set the tone on the eve of the tournament by delaying their departure for Brazil as they squeezed an extra $10,000 per player from their federation. An expensively chartered jet from Angolan airline TAAG waited almost 24 hours before departing with the team for Brazil.

Almost predictably, Cameroon became the first side mathematically eliminated after a 4-0 loss to Croatiain their second group game during which key midfielder Alex Song was sent off for a needless elbow in the back of an opponent to become the seventh Cameroonian red-carded at a World Cup.


Wild-haired full back Benoit Assou-Ekotto then head-butted team mate Benjamin Moukandjo in further evidence of a near-total breakdown of discipline.

Recriminations have begun in the Ivory Coast after their first-round elimination, with coach Sabri Lamouchicriticised by the media for his tactical decisions in the 2-1 loss to Greece in Fortaleza on Tuesday.

 Details of a frosty relationship between Lamouchi, who has since resigned, and key players are also emerging.

Algeria's World Cup campaign has been overshadowed by constant sniping between coach Vahid Halilhodzic and the country's media.

Halilhodzic has accused reporters of trying to undermine his side and not wanting them to win while the press see him as arrogant and flippant.

The panacea remains victory and Nigeria's progress to the knockout round came without any dissent or incident.

That is no coincidence with strong-willed coach Stephen Keshi at the helm, but he has had to deal with issues since Nigeria won the African Nations Cup 18 months ago, including the sacking of some of his backroom staff and not paying his wages for six months.

Just months ago, Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou encouraged a new era of professionalism in African soccer at a seminar with football association and club officials and predicted the possibility of a strong showing by the Africans in Brazil.

Sadly for the continent, that has not happened.


This article has 19 comment(s), give your comment
  • Benny says:
    June 28, 2014 11:11 pm
    Arrogant Nyantakyi and clueless AA,recipe for disaster. John Boye should never don the Black star jersey again.
  • selfmade says:
    June 29, 2014 12:04 am
    This is what happens when u have a foolish minister as the leader of a delegation! My question is this, what was the purpose of this good for nothing minister in Brazil! How can a whole minister go to Brazil to be a servant to a foolish, cheap actress who is someone's garbage!! All these hulaballo did happen in the presence of this good for nothing so called sports minister? My heart bleeds for this nation because whiles Ghanaians are suffering a lot from harsh economic problems, a whole minister of state was chilling in Brazil with a cheap whore with tax payers money! If this man thinks that he is free for his criminal activities in brazil, then he is just dreaming because he is going to account for every pesewaa he has misused ever since he became the sports minister! His name has appeared in all dubious corruption deals in this government and FORBES reported recently that he is among the richest Ghanaian alive and one needs to ask himself where did he get all this wealth from? This ughly,wick man is a serial thief and not only that he is also a fucking pervert and a womaniser! I have taken my time to go thru the web to find out if any minister or leader of delegation was doing such an abominable thing in Brazil and am yet to see one! U see, he is using Ghana's money to buy pussy because he is such a ughly man and the only way he can find a lady is to spend tax payers money unwisely! This was a man who was making fun of people dying under a collapse building! This was a man who valued DIRTY POLITICS than human life! This was the low level man who has no feeling or sympathy for his fellow! God is watching u and one day, u LL find yourself in a similar position and no one ll hear your voice! God ll punish u one day! After riding on cheap, dirty politics to become a minister, all that we get from u, is spending tax payers money on one frustrated actress who has shame! U didn't have any sympathy for 40 or 50 people dying under a collapse building and crying for help but u can stooped soo low like a fucking pervert to please a frustrated slut! God ll punish u and the BLOOD OD THESE PEOPLE ARE ON YOUR HEAD! Wait and see how your end ll pan out motherfucker!
  • Rasheed says:
    June 29, 2014 01:05 am
    Self made you are s hero and deserve an award for your comments.
  • EA1us says:
    June 29, 2014 01:54 am
    Selfmade: You're right bro! It's definately very sad how the country [Ghana] operate. It's not just football department, but all their entire institutions. Coming to Ghana the last time, I had one 22 pistol and a 500 magnum s&w revolver in my bag; I was a little concern 'cos I hadn't any knowledge of Ghana guns regulations. Immediately I arrived at the airport, all their stuff wanted money from me including the managers and they didn't even open any of the bags to figure out what's in them. It's sad they have SOLD the country's pride for money.
  • Anokwale says:
    June 29, 2014 01:58 am
    Africans need to accept who they are and stop all the noise. We should just be grateful that Nigeria and Algeria are through and support them. Our people are too desperate for money so things will never work out! Face the facts.
  • Bostonman redsox says:
    June 29, 2014 05:26 am
    Unless I read wrongly, the stupid minister of sports has been moved to minister of state. Is that not actually a promotion as a minister of state? What kind of punishment is this? Mahama, u really have to do something before the people demonstrate against u. Do u remember Egypt and Tunisia? We want the team dissolved n rebuilt with whole new gfa and sports ministry.
  • legacy says:
    June 29, 2014 06:16 am
    Why waste time on a good for nothing minister who will always gain promotion for for wasting the tax payers money by his indecisive master Mr President John Dramani Mahama. What ever you say he doesn't care but he will rather do it the more because he is Mr President yen tie obiaa. But Mark it these greedy bustards who are ready to create loot and share will pay for it. May Jah curse them and their generation to come.
  • Milky says:
    June 29, 2014 07:08 am
    This is what fucking happens when you leave an incompetent person in the helm of affairs. AA is soo fucking incompetent that, he doesn't know what the **** is going on!!! I want a competent coach for Ghana who can manage the so many talented players we have. I dont care if he is white, pink, orange, blue, yellow, black or any color. The main criteria for this job - competency at coaching. I cant believe I wasted my money to come and watch the black stars in Brazil. What a fucking waste of my time and resources!
  • Serfmade says:
    June 29, 2014 08:07 am
    We shud just accept that our BD lost and only managd.I told you all before the world cup that we were not going anywhere in ths tournermnt.What a disgas to Africa.We shoot and insultd nigerians and called them names but are they now.Regardless of what happd.Lets all support the super Eagles and algeria they deservnly qualified
  • Naijaguy says:
    June 29, 2014 08:09 am
    Go Eagles go!
  • Selfmade says:
    June 29, 2014 08:13 am
    We shud just accept that our BD lost and only managd.I told you all before the world cup that we were not going anywhere in ths tournermnt.What a disgas to Africa.We shoot and insultd nigerians and called them names but where are they now.Regardless of what happd.Lets all support the super Eagles and algeria they deservnly qualified
  • Chineke says:
    June 29, 2014 08:16 am
    @ Selfmade.You are a wise ghanian not thez other BD's.Go Eagles go!
  • Mumbi says:
    June 29, 2014 09:03 am
    The BD's should just on and start focusing on Morocco 2015 afcon where Zambia shall eliminate them again. A poor Ghana nation can not build roads, schools, airports or improve healh facilities but can hire a plane to deliver $3m to its below avarage players. What a shame!!!!
  • African says:
    June 29, 2014 09:06 am
    am enjoying this your pain Ghana. Remember what u did to your fellow african? Made them to train in the car park at night and switching off your power. For as long as you don't realise and apologise as a nation, you will never achieve anything tangible for a long time. Curse!
  • Frank says:
    June 29, 2014 09:39 am
    Muntari smoke shiisha in blackstars dinning everyday
  • Chineke says:
    June 29, 2014 10:12 am
    @ Mumbi.You are right its a shame indeed for the black cats,they iligally went to world cup @ the expence of Chipo's,your chipo's wud hav done better not these uselss fufu's.9ja will always n a power house after Chipo's not these others.Go Eagles go! The only shining african team.....
  • Alan says:
    June 29, 2014 10:46 am
    Mumbi you re right,but is your soo called country any better?Stupidity @ de highest level.You re questioning your role model,whiles you re even worser.
  • jotey says:
    June 29, 2014 11:32 am
    hehehehe Nigeria proved 2 everyone DAT they are champions of Africa... go eagles go
  • A concerned citizen says:
    June 29, 2014 11:51 am
    Ghana is bigger than "try and error" coach Dr, AA, by putting square pegs in round holes. All these problems would not have cropped up if we have a good coach who knows how to manage egos and do the right selections. Still don't have first 11 players since time immemorial...last year AFCON messed up..this year World just blown it..Appiah's award should be "first time black stars failed at group stage" award..yet he has the guts to vow to stay because he is looking at his pocket?? Silent killer instincts still working on some players. How can they excel? A coach who sees a bench warmer as the best goalkeeper..who sees a player maker as the best defender...who sees a rough tackler as the best midfielder...Why everything is in the opposite direction other words he sees black as white and white as black..