Ghana has sent a plane with $3 million in cash to Brazil in a bid to appease agitated national team players still waiting to be awarded their World Cup appearance fees.
“The players are still insisting that they wouldn’t take anything but physical cash,” Ghana’s Deputy Sports Minister Joseph Yammin said in comments broadcast by Accra’s Citi FM radio.
A chartered plane carrying the rare cargo – including both large and small cash denominations – was due to arrive in Brazil late Wednesday.
Players representing Ghana’s national team, also known as the Black Stars, have been waiting for the fees they have been owed since the beginning of the tournament, which started on June 12. The delay has partly been blamed on a dispute over the mode in which the money would be paid out to the players.
The disagreement this week led to the Black Stars holding up travel plans to Brasilia, where they are scheduled to play Portugal Thursday in their final group match. If Ghana wins the meet against Portugal, they could qualify for the cup’s knockout stages.
The matter was finally settled on Wednesday after Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama personally intervened to ensure the players would get their money.
“President Mahama waded into the matter after agitation from the Black Stars players over their appearance fees for the World Cup, which have not been paid,” the Ghana Football Association (GFA) said in a statement, adding that the government would be reimbursed once FIFA pays Ghana for participating in the Cup.
Deputy Sports Minister Yammin admitted that sending such a large amount of money on a plane might not have been the wisest option, but noted that it had always been done that way.
French financial daily Les Echos cited Yammin as saying the players had previously refused the offer of a bank transfer in Ghanaian currency, because the local cedi “keeps on losing value.”
The financial squabble is not the first bump Ghana has hit during this World Cup. On Monday, Britain’s The Telegraph reported claims that GFA representatives had accepted bribes to fix results in friendlies set to be played by the national team.
The GFA responded to the article by saying it had launched an investigation into the allegations.
Date created : 2014-06-25