Soccer News of Monday, 7 July 2014
Communications Director of the Ghana Football Association, Ibrahim Saanie Daara, has refused to buy into claims that the Management Committee of the Black Stars has lost control over the team which has conversely affected the team’s trust in them.
Earlier at the ongoing 2014 FIFA world Cup in Brazil, Ghana crushed out of the tournament following a 2-1 loss to Portugal in the Black Stars last group game after an earlier loss and a draw with the USA and Germany respectively.
However, it was their off-field disputes that grabbed global attention.
First, there was an unsuccessful attempt at convincing the players to accept an appearance fee of $75,000. Again, another attempted at having the appearance fees deposited into the players’ personal accounts and being subsequently handed money cards proved futile with the players demanding the upfront payment of physical cash.
Then lastly, a delay on the part of the Sports Ministry in fulfilling their promises regarding the payment of the appearance fees on time saw the team miss a training schedule in protest. Against all forms of assurances, the team demanded the payment of their moneys before playing Portugal in their last Group G match, one which warranted an airlift of over $3m in cash from Accra to Brasilia to satisfy the players just a night to their must-win encounter with Portugal.
Comparing the Black Stars situation to African counterparts Cameroon who first demanded their bonuses before flying off to Brazil for the tournament, Saanie is of the mind that the players wouldn’t have been convinced to get to the farthest point as the Portugal encounter if they never trusted the management committee.
“The players had trust in management to a point,” he told Ghana Television. “Unlike the Cameroonian national team who were not even ready to take onto the plane to move from their country until their appearance fees were paid, even when the moneys were not coming, we were able to convince them to leave Accra for Holland.
“In Holland the moneys did not come but yet, we were able to convince them to go to the USA for the second leg of the camping. We convinced them to go to the tournament without complaining and convinced them to play the first and second matches without complaining,” he explained.
To many, the physical assault by midfielder Sulley Muntari on Moses Armah, a management committee member, all but confirmed their fears on the apparent disregard for the management committee. However, Daara, unlike the masses, attributes the team’s insistence of getting their moneys before the final game to reasons other than a loss of trust and control.
“I suspect that the reason why the issue of trust became an issue was the thinking that if they (the players) played their last match against Portugal and lost, they were going out of the competition and where do they then get their moneys? They thought that if they lost against Portugal, the moneys would not come.
“This could be based on previous experiences where players were promised many things in the past and were not delivered,” Saanie further stated.
After winning only a single point from a possible nine, Ghana failed to make the round of 16 for the first time in their history after a last 16 place and a quarter-final berth in their previous two World Cup appearances in Germany and South Africa respectively.