06.26.14

Ghana’s Slight Distraction

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 10:21 pm by

Despite losing to Germany earlier today on a 55th minute strike by Thomas Müller, the US Men’s National Team advanced to the 2014 World Cup knockout stages by virtue of a 2nd place finish in Group G that was sealed with Ghana’s 2-1 defeat to Portugal at Estádio Nacional. The latter result came on the heels of the Ghana Football Federation’s last second delivery of some $3 million dollars to the team, a payment that might not have happened nearly so fast had training not been boycotted two days earlier. From the Guardian’s Stuart James :

For coach James Appiah, the stand-off could not have happened at a worse time. “Every coach wouldn’t love to be in this situation where players are requesting monies, considering the fact you are playing a very important game,” he said. “For the past two days I’ve had sleepless nights, I can’t even close my eyes. These things are normally sorted out before the competition, you can’t keep telling the players the money will come. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in that situation, trying to cope with it. The good thing is the president of the country will step in.”

Appiah would not disclose how much exactly the Ghana squad were demanding – “The players would kill me if I revealed it,” he said, laughing – but he defended their stance. “It’s not about being paid reward for anything, it’s got to do with an appearance fee, which I think every country pays its players, not just Ghana. It’s a right.”

Asked why the players could not have the money transferred electronically, Appiah said: “The practice in Ghana has always been to pay players in cash. Some players have not got accounts in Ghana. The system in Africa is totally different to Europe. You need to consider those factors. I’m not saying that it is the best way. But we are coming from different areas and you need to understand how it works.”

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