The apparent indiscipline and lack of order exhibited in the camps of the senior national soccer team, the Black Stars in Brazil seemed irrepressible as Ghanasportsonline.com has chanced on a video indicating that AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari had been smoking a substance alleged to be shisha at the team’s dinning room in the full glare of other players including skipper Asamoah Gyan and some team officials.
Shisha, a flavoured tobacco which is mixed with mint and or marijuana, is smoked via a long pipe connected to a vessel filled with water, and is particularly fashionable among young people, with the number of specialist bars rising 210 per cent since 2007.
But the World Health Organisation has warned that a one-hour shisha session can be as harmful as smoking 100 cigarettes. Though many top football teams in the World have banned smoking for their stars either at night club or training grounds, it seems the practice was allowed in the Ghana camp as evidence show.
The leaked footage, one of the many expose videos chanced on by Ghanasportsonline.com shows the 29-year-old inhaling from an extinguished substance before exhaling a thick cloud of smoke in front of all the players at a dining hall.
The former Portsmouth and Inter Milan star then proceeded to enter into a frenzied dancing competition with team-mate Michael Essien for minutes, before retiring to his seat to pick the ‘unknown’ smoke substance from the ashtray on his table.
All through the raucous activities at the dining hall meant to display the affinity and camaraderie in camp, the other players present were cheerily heard in the video squawking and calling him (Sulley Muntari) by names or nick names that was to corroborate and prove what actually he had been engaged in at the camp.
A player whose identity was not disclosed in the video shouted from behind in support for Munatri’s dance moves “Shii-Sha Man, Shii-Sha Man”.
Then Emmanuel Agyeman Badu yelled “Yes The Wee man, Wee Man” (literally translating as a wee smoker).
An angry voice (a player) then yelled “He (Munatari) says as for the name Wee Man he doesn’t like it, He says we should call him Ganja Man” (All break down with laughter).
Skipper of the team Asamoah Gyan, who was present, was heard encouraging Sulley Muntari to dance well because Essien was performing better than him.
Dede Ayew laughs, turn around and someone again shouts “Yes, that’s the Ganja Farmer”, as Muntari and Essien danced receiving applause and drawing laughter from the other players.
A team officials was seen behind the players serving himself of the food available on the table and not paying attention to what the stars had been doing.
The controversial star together with Shalke 04 midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng were ousted from the Ghana camp before the final group game against Portugal for portraying indiscipline in camp.
Muntari had a massive physical showdown with Moses Armah Parker, a management committee member of the team over disagreements on the appearance fee saga before breaking a bottle ostensibly to hit the team official.
In 2013, Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere was fined by the club after he was pictured smoking a ciggarrete at a night club.
Arsenal manager Arene Wenger sunsequently lambasted the midfielder saying “There are two things – first of all when you are a football player you are an example and as well you don’t do what damages your health”,
“The fact is that you can damage your health at home, you can smoke at home and you can drink at home, and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially you also damage your reputation as an example.”
In August last year, AC Milan fined striker Mario Balotelli after he was caught smoking on a train traveling to Florence.
Ghana FA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, attributed the failure by the Black Stars to cross the first round at this year’s World Cup to the “indiscipline in amp over 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, Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng sighted and cited as the notable two instigators.
There were constant denials by the Ghana FA officials who were with the team in Maceio about the conduct of players and total show of gross disrespect for authority and order.
Earlier reports of player revolt in camp before the USA clash were rubbished by the GFA Communicator but the stories later turned out to be true as the players failed to turn up for training unless they are paid the sum of $100,000 each.
A member of the Black Stars management committee Wilfred Osei Palmer has asserted the decision by the FA to cover up reports of indiscipline and player revolts in the Stars camp in Brazil is partly to blame for the Stars’ early exit.
But the latest revelation of player conduct and several other awful acts exhibited in the camp would help in establishing the real state of the team.