Ghana FA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has attributed the failure of the Black Stars to cross the first round at this year’s World Cup to the “appearance fee syndrome”.
“Money, money, money had been the refrain by the players, and it is a pity they allowed this to ruin our World Cup,” he said tearfully.
Mr. Nyantakyi, who has been at the helm since Ghana premiered at the World Cup in 2006, could not understand what had changed for the players to have held them (team officials) and, for that matter, the entire nation to ransom at this particular tournament.
“We want cash, we want cash,” was the message of the agitation being championed by an alleged notorious “gang of three” with Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng cited as the notable two instigators.
“It is not as though anybody wants to deny the players their monies, but we explained to them that, per the agreement with our financial sponsors, uniBank, before departure for the tournament, the amounts have been put on a card (or uniBank Mastercard) to be withdrawn here and given to them,” Mr Nyantakyi told the Daily Graphic after the 1-2 loss to Portugal yesterday.
“Felix, l tell you, you can’t believe it that in spite of all the promises to them that the Sports Minister had asked that physical cash be sent from Accra to satisfy their demands, these boys threw caution to the wind with all manner of behaviours that I can’t recount.
“Could you believe it that because the money delayed in coming, they pronounced the Honourable Minister a liar and virtually banished him from coming to the team’s base? “This is how far these boys went, and it is unfortunate to say the least,” the FA boss bemoaned.
He, however, confirmed that the money eventually came last Wednesday and it was immediately shared among them, “yet they could not deliver against the Portuguese,” Mr Nyantakyi added slyly.
Earlier last Tuesday, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, the Sports Minister, had expressed regret at the behaviour of some of the players, describing it as something he had never seen of our profession.
According to him, “it was that terrible that we were forced to do everything under the sun to get the money for them in cash as being demanded.
“It came to us as a surprise that the players were insistent on paying them in cash instead of the Mastercard arrangement the FA entered into with uniBank, the team’s official sponsors of Ghana’s World Cup assignment,” the minister said.