President Explains Cash Transfer To Brazil

MahamaPresident John Mahama has explained that the much publicized flying of over $3m cash from Ghana to Brazil to pay Ghana players was “unconventional, but necessary”.

The Ghana government attracted international media spotlight last Wednesday by sending out a chartered flight with over $3m in hard cash from Ghana en route to Brazil to save a chaos situation in the Black Stars camp.

The players had publicly agitated for their ‘appearance fees’, a sum of $100,000 per player agreed between themselves and the FA, and had threatened to boycott training sessions and ultimately, the trip to Brasilia to face Portugal in their final group game. It took a call from President Mahama on Wednesday to calm the team down and assure them that the money would come.

Ghana became the talk of the globe on Thursday when the Jet arrived in Brazil and was given a full security escort in a convoy to the Black Stars’ hotel, where it was shared amongst players hours before their clash with the Portuguese.

“I believe valuable lessons were learned by all,” Mahama said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. “There was a problem with the initial mode of transportation for the payment and so we made other arrangements that, while unconventional, were necessary.”

“I don’t think you can place that many human beings together in a team, all of them stars in their own right, and not have some measure of ego display and some amount of discord.

“Our elimination at this stage is not for lack of talent or effort. The Black Stars have given their all.”

In what turned out to be a drama-laden campaign, Ghana eventually crashed out of Brazil losing 2-1 to the Portuguese, finishing with a single point from three games.

Meanwhile, President John Mahama has named his information minister Mahama Ayariga as the new minister of sports.

Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, who was then in charge and led the team to Brazil 2014, has been moved to the seat of government as a minister of state, according to a press statement from the Presidency.

The changes also hit the deputy minister of sports Joseph Yammin, who has been moved to head Ghana’s second largest cosmopolitan region the Ashanti Region. He has been replaced by the deputy minister for water resources, works and housing, Vincent Oppong Asamoah.

The President said the new appointments are “part of ongoing changes in his administration.”

Ghana’s campaign at the 2014 World Cup ended in a total disaster after losing two group games and drawing one. A revolt in camp over unpaid appearance fees and off-field fight between players and team officials marred their stay in Brazil.

Coach Kwesi Appiah had to send midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng home ahead of their final group game against Portugal.

It was Ghana’s worst ever showing at the global football festival after making it out of the group stages in their two previous appearances.ghanasoccernet.com

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