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Soccer News of Friday, 27 June 2014

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Ghana fans attribute World Cup failure to indiscipline

The elimination of the Black Stars from the Brazil 2014 World Cup at the group stage has attracted mixed reactions from football fans.

Majority of fans felt let down by the Black Stars, especially after the government “flew” $3 million to Brazil last Tuesday to pay the players’ appearance fee.

Although opinions were divided over the dispatch of the appearance fee by a chartered aircraft, many fans were of the view that if the payment of the fee could restore calm in the Stars’ camp and boost players’ morale for the Ghana match against Portugal, then it was worth the sacrifice.

However, some contended that the toil of the Ghanaian taxpayer in settling the appearance fee did not serve as enough incentive to the players to die for Ghana in their match against Portugal and described the players as ingrates who appeared for Ghana for selfish reasons.

Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng suspended

In an attempt to stem player agitation in the Black Stars’ camp ahead of their match against Portugal, the team’s management committee, on the recommendation of Coach Kwasi Appiah, threw Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng out of its World Cup squad for disciplinary reasons.

Just a day after seeming to resolve a possible player mutiny over World Cup bonus payments, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) released two separate statements saying two of the country's stars had been "suspended ... indefinitely from the Black Stars with immediate effect".

Muntari was suspended "in the wake of his unprovoked physical attack on an executive committee member of the GFA and management member of the Black Stars, Mr Moses Armah," on Tuesday, one statement read.

The other statement said Boateng was dropped from the squad because of "vulgar verbal insults targeted at Coach Kwesi Appiah" during a training session this week.

"Boateng has since shown no remorse for his actions which have resulted in the decision," it added.

Touching on developments in the Stars’ camp before their exit yesterday, some of the fans suggested a complete overhaul of the team, a shake-up of the technical and management teams, as well as an investigation by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to determine what happened and what went wrong at Brazil 2014.

Notwithstanding the widespread condemnation for the poor showing, some fans conceded that the Black Stars posted an excellent showing in their match against Germany, while others were of the view that they could have done better in their crucial match against Portugal yesterday.

In separate interviews in Accra, some of the fans observed that the defence of the Black Stars in their match against Portugal was porous, the midfield leaked, while the attack performed below expectation.

Observations

One soccer fan, Francis Adjei, who had so much hope in the Black Stars to move to the next stage, said the defence often left Christiano Ronaldo unmarked, a situation which put a lot of pressure on the goalkeeper.

In apparent reference to the alleged attack on a member of the Black Stars management team by Muntari, Adjei observed that player indiscipline also took a toll on the performance of the team.

“The team looked disorganised and it seemed they had lost concentration,” he said.

“Refund our money”

One female fan, Florence Agyemang, said the delay in the payment of the appearance fee also de-motivated the players and undermined morale, which was needed in the team for a crucial match such as the one against Portugal.

“If they had got their appearance fee earlier, all the brouhaha about money would have been cleared before the match,” she added.

But for another fan, George Ekow Blankson, the Black Stars did not live up to expectation and, therefore, they should refund the money paid to them.

“They must refund our money to sustain the economy because the country is going through crisis. We cannot waste money on them only for them to come home with nothing,” he said

Shake-up in management

Looking morose and dejected, a soccer enthusiast, Kwabena Acquah, said he would not be able to eat because of the poor performance of the Black Stars.

He suggested a shake-up in the Black Star management and technical teams, as well as the playing body.

“I had hope because of the words of the prophets, but at the end of the day the prophecies did not come true,” Ernest Obeng said.

He said players who were temperamental should be disciplined or excluded from the team in future.

“From the onset, I knew the Black Stars would not qualify because they did not attach any seriousness to their first match and even today they depicted that same attitude. They are not serious,” another fan, Aaron Lartey, stated.

Another football fan, Nana Kwame, suggested the need for the Black Stars coach to sack some of the players, adopt some local players who were ready to give their best and maintain players such as Jordan Ayew and Asamoah Gyan.

“I’m so disappointed that Ghana is out of the tournament. All along I thought we will jubilate in the success of the Stars but, unfortunately, we did not qualify to the next stage,” Promise Wadee said.