‘Ghana’s preparation was a nightmare’

July 01, 2014 - 11:24:18 am
Ghana players form a wall as they defend a free kick in a match against Portugal at the Brasilia National Stadium last week.

BELO HORIZONTE: Ghana’s World Cup preparation was a nightmare of arguments over cash, flooded hotel rooms and long-haul flights in economy class, according to their suspended midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Ghana, quarter-finalists four years ago, crashed out of the tournament in the group stage with Boateng and team-mate Sulley Muntari suspended before their final game.

“I would have never thought that a World Cup preparation could be organised that badly, Everything was amateurish,” the German-born player told Germany’s SportBild magazine.

“The nightmare started on the first day of preparations and lasted until the final day.”

Ghana exited the tournament with one point from three games and the country ordered an investigation into the debacle.

Boateng was sanctioned by the Ghanaian football federation for using “vulgar verbal insults” against coach Kwesi Appiah.

“I don’t care what they say. I am very relaxed about it because I know I did nothing of the sort,” Boateng said.

He said players boycotted training once over unpaid bonuses and accused the federation of failing to spend money from world soccer’s governing body FIFA on team preparations.

Ghana president, John Mahama, later stepped in to try to resolve the dispute and around $3m eventually arrived in Brazil in cash with a convoy of cars bringing the money.  

Boateng said the cash row, however, was the least.

“Flying from Miami to Brazil lasted 12 hours. We were squeezed into economy with the legs hurting. It may sound strange for the average citizen but it is demanding for a high-performance athlete,” he said. REUTERS