by Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (June 25th 2014)
With the cash dispute settled – Ghanaʼs President John Dramani Mahama chartered a plane to deliver £1.76m cash for the players to share among themselves – further chaos emerged. The players had not been paid appearance money and threatened a strike – now averted – against Portugal. This is a match the Black Stars need to win, but they are in chaos.
Schalke04ʼs Kevin-Prince Boateng and AC Milanʼs Sulley Muntari have been sent home for disciplinary reasons by coach James Kwesi Appiah. The pair have been suspended indefinitely by the Ghana Football Association.
“The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has suspended Sulley Ali Muntari indefinitely from the Black Stars with immediate effect”, a statement from the GFA said. “The decision was taken in the wake of his unprovoked physical attack on an Executive Committee member of the GFA and a management member of the Black Stars, Mr Moses Armah on Tuesday 24th June 2014 during a meeting”.
Boateng was accused of insulting coach James Kwesi Appiah. “The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has approved coach Kwesi Appiah’s decision to suspend Kevin-Prince Boateng indefinitely from the Black Stars. The decision takes immediate effect”, a statement issued by the GFA said. “The decision was taken following Boateng’s vulgar verbal insults targeted at coach Kwesi Appiah during the team’s training session in Maceio this week. Boateng has since showed no remorse for his actions which has resulted in the decision”.
Boateng says the players were just having a laugh when ordered to the changing room by Appiah. He claims that Appiah was abusive towards him when he asked for an explanation. However, he accepted his dismissal from the squad.
The African nations have won few friends in this World Cup. Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the last 16 for the third time in a row, despite only needing to avoid defeat, although the penalty that eliminated them was controversial as replays suggested that Georgios Samaras was not fouled by Giovanni-Guy Sio. Nevertheless, the penalty was scored and Greece progressed to the last sixteen at Ivory Coastʼs expense.
Cameroun were a complete shambles demanding bonuses, threatening not to come to Brasil at all and fighting each-other rather than for each-other. And now Ghana – the most successful African country in recent times at the World Cup have found a way to implode too. Portugal must be watching in pleasant disbelief as the Black Stars self-destruct.
If Africa expects more places at the top table of world football, they have to earn then. Squabbling over bonuses and behaviour such as this shows even the squads are not harmonious. Performances on and off the pitch in this tournament have done nothing to show FIFA that Africa deserves a bigger slice of the pie.
The USA and Germany only need to draw to send Ghana home. Meanwhile, The Desert Foxes are due a break. Having been shamefully robbed by a fix in 1982, Brasilʼs World Cup would not be disgraced if Algeria got the opportunity to restore some damaged African pride by reaching the last 16. So far Nigeria have made it to the last sixteen for Africa.