Soccer News of Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Ghana's Black Stars are grappling with financial and accommodation issues which they need to fix in time prior to their second Group B clash with Germany at Fortaleza on Saturday.
The previously unknown problems came to light after the Stars' 1-2 painful defeat to the USA in their opening Group G match at the Estadio das Dunas in Natal last Monday night.
Graphic Sports gathered that players and officials of the team were still deadlocked in negotiations over appearance fee days to that crucial game against old foes USA.
According to a source close to the team, while the players demanded $100,000 as appearance fee for the World Cup, officials insisted on offering $75,000 per players, creating tension in camp.
The source said the players claimed they were demanding their fair share due them without any compromise since that was the initial agreement reached between them and officialdom prior to the tournament.
However, no FA official could be reached to confirm or deny the story since the Ghana squad flew back to Maceio immediately after last Monday's match. Even more disturbing was another revelation that players and officials of the Ghana team were stranded on arrival in Natal last Sunday afternoon after meeting a flooded hotel reserved for them by FIFA.
After being exposed by its failure to send an advanced party to check on to the team's accommodation in Natal prior to their arrival from their camping base in Maceio, just 24 hours to the game, Ghana FA officials reportedly hit the streets of Natal in search of accommodation, leaving Stars players and officials stranded at the hotel.
In the midst of the frustration, German-born Kevin-Prince Boateng was said to have reacted angrily about poor organisation in a manner which was believed to have cost him a place in the starting line-up against the USA last Monday.
However, the midfielder showed his class when he came on for Jordan Ayew after 58 minutes. Those organisational hiccups were, perhaps, the reasons why the Schalke player reportedly kicked everything in his path out of frustration, on his way to the dressing room after that agonising defeat to the US, in a game Ghana completely dominated.
And after FA officials had failed to get accommodation fitting for the Stars in Natal, players and officials who were still hanging around in the hotel lobby had no choice but to continue to the stadium for their first training session at the match venue on the eve of the big game.
That apparently meant the players did not get any good rest on arrival in Maceio until after training when they finally checked in at their official hotel which had then been fixed.
In contrast, the US team had long pitched camp in Natal after the opening ceremony to acclimatise and also train on the pitch for the match.