Just hours before taking on Portugal in a crucial World Cup match Ghana have sent home two of their top players, midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng.
The Ghana Football Association released a separate statement regarding each player on their website. First on Muntari.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has suspended Sulley Ali Muntari indefinitely from the Black Stars with immediate effect.
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.
Muntari’s accreditation for the 2014 World Cup has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
The GFA released a similar statement regarding Boateng.
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.
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Boateng’s accreditation for the 2014 World Cup has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
The suspensions add to the turmoil swirling around the Black Stars, who need no less than a win against Portugal if they are to have any hope of advancing to knockout rounds of the World Cup.
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama was forced to intervene to ensure that the players would receive promised payments. The President took the dramatic step of sending an airplane containing up to $3 million in cash for the Ghanaian players, who were said to be considering boycotting the Portugal match.
Ghana midfielder Christian Atsu denied that a boycott was ever on the table. “We are not going to say we are not going to play because of the money,” Atsu said. “We love our nation and we are going to play for our nation.”
Each of the Black Stars is said to have between $75,000 and $100,000 coming their way, and Atsu was asked what they would do with all that cash.“I think we will keep it in our bags and we’ll just lock them,” he said. “And we will transfer the money to our accounts.”
With Ghana in apparent disarray, Portugal’s problems are easy to overlook, but the European side have worries of their own coming into this crucial encounter. Listen to what the team’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo had to say after his last second assist against the U.S. in Manaus kept Portugal alive in the Cup.
“We’re probably just an average team. I’d be lying if I said we were a top team,” Ronaldo conceded. “Portugal was never a favorite. I honestly never thought I would be World Cup champion.”
The Ballon d’Or winner continued, “we have to be humble and know what we’re capable of,” he said. Commenting on his own play Ronaldo, who has struggled with a knee problem admitted, “recently I haven’t been how I had hoped,” he said.