GFA Begged FIFA… For World Cup Money

FIFA has revealed that the Ghana Football Association desperately begged the world governing body for money to avert the bonus crisis in the Black Stars World Cup camp after promised money from the country’s government failed to arrive on the promised date.

Ghana’s cash-strapped football association had asked for an advance on the $8 million prize money it is guaranteed from the World Cup to pay outstanding debts to players, FIFA revealed in a statement.

With the threat by the Black Stars players of boycotting Thursday’s match against Portugal and with promises of monies due the team not arriving in time, the GFA approached FIFA for a solution.

This came to light when the players carried out their threat of boycotting team training on Tuesday which resulted in the GFA approaching FIFA.

FIFA said on Wednesday that Ghana’s request was “under evaluation.”

The Ghana players threatened not to play after promises by the Sports Ministry of their appearance fees to be paid did not arrive before the start of the tournament.

But they played the first two matches of the competition and the money failed to arrive before carrying out their threat to boycott the World Cup’s activities.

FIFA’s statement came at the time that Ghana’s Deputy Sports Minister, Joseph Yamin, said on Tuesday that as much as $3 million in cash would be flown into Brazil from the West African nation to finally pay the bonuses to unhappy players and avert a possible player strike.

But the payment did not arrive on Tuesday as Yamin had promised and it looked like the Ghana FA had lost hope of the money arriving in time from Accra as previous promises of the bonuses being paid was not kept.

But the President of the country, John Mahama, personally intervened on Wednesday to ensure that the money was released which averted the crisis.

The Ghana Football Association insisted that the problem had been resolved after intervention by Ghanaian President John Mahama, who had spoken to players and guaranteed they would get their money by Wednesday afternoon, the GFA said.

The players have now been paid so FIFA is not expected to take action on the Ghana FA’s request immediately.

World Cup prize money — which ranges in Brazil from $8 million for being knocked out in the group stage to $35 million for winning the title — is normally paid after the tournament.