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General News of Saturday, 28 June 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Supporters arrive in Brazil after Ghana’s exit

A group of Ghanaian supporters experienced double disappointment last Thursday night after landing in Brasilia just after the Black Stars had crashed out of the FIFA World Cup following a 2-1 loss to Portugal in their last group encounter.

The over 70 supporters, comprising young men and women, were led by government officials, including Kojo Adu-Asare, a former MP for Adenta.

Air Aram Hotel

At the Air Aram Hotel in Brasilia where they checked in last Thursday night, the disappointed supporters recounted their harrowing ordeal of travelling all the way from Accra only to miss Ghana’s last match in Brasilia. They said they were in Brazilian airspace when they heard about the Stars’ 2-1 defeat by Portugal.

Notable among them was Abraham Nkansah (Apiurugu Chakapama), the president of Die Hard Supporters Union, who said the chartered Congolese aircraft carrying them had to transit in Freetown, Sierra Leone and another place for refuelling, which delayed their arrival, apart from the delays in Accra caused by postponement of the flight.

The disappointed fans, who were later met that night by the Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, are scheduled to depart Brasilia today on their return journey to Accra.

Amidst reported row over cash, which culminated in the suspension of two of the team’s experienced stars, Sulley Ali Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng hours before Ghana’s loss to Portugal, the supporters hailed a call by President john Mahama for an inquiry into the whole caboodle.

Supporters speak

They told the Daily Graphic they were very upset by the the Stars’ early exit from the tournament since they thought support for the team would have increased with their arrival. One of the supporters, who only gave his name as Nii, said "we have heard the President has indicated that a committee be set up to probe the poor show by the Stars and we support that because what we heard went on, saw and read on social media about the behaviour of the players and some officials were just not right and must be looked into," he said.

President Paul Biya

Meanwhile, President Paul Biya of Cameroun has similarly called for an inquiry into the rancorous campaign of the Indomitable Lions, which led to their early exit from Brazil after losing all three group games, scoring only one goal and conceding nine.

Unlike Ghana, Camerounian team-mates fought on the pitch during their 4-0 defeat by Croatia, with defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto head-butting teammate Benjamin Moukandjo very bizarrely. But preceding their arrival to the tournament, the Camerounian players, led by their captain, Samuel Eto'o Fils, similarly held their officials to ransom over appearance fees and other related matters until they were settled.

However, the row over cash by African teams seem to be spreading fast as Nigeria’s Super Eagles also boycotted a training session last Thursday because of reported shortchange over winning bonus.

The players reportedly took the action because they suspected they should have been paid $30,000 each for reaching the second round of the tournament but, instead received $15,000 each. Nigeria takes on France in their round of 16 match in Brasilia on Monday.

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