Muntari and Boateng thrown out of Ghana squad
Country's two biggest stars sent home hours before crucial match against Portugal
Ghana midfielders Sulley Muntari (pictured) and Kevin-Prince Boateng have been suspended indefinitely from the national team and sent home from the World Cup in Brazil for disciplinary reasons, the Ghana Football Association has announced. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Ghana’s two biggest stars have been suspended from the team just hours ahead of their crucial World Cup match.
The two former Portsmouth players will play no part in Ghana’s must-win last group match against Portugal in Brasilia today.
The squad has been a state of rebellion over unpaid appearance feeand Muntari is reported to have slapped a senior GFA official during a heated meeting. Boateng “verbally abused” coach Kwesi Appiah, said the GFA.
A statement from the association said: “The GFA has suspended Sulley Ali Muntari indefinitely from the Black Stars with immediate effect.
“The decision was taken in the wake of his unprovoked physical attack on an executive committee member of the GFA and a management member of the Black Stars, Mr Moses Armah on Tuesday 24th June, 2014 during a meeting.
“The GFA has approved coach Kwesi Appiah’s decision to suspend Kevin-Prince Boateng indefinitely from the Black Stars.
“The decision was taken following Boateng’s vulgar verbal insults targeted at coach Kwesi Appiah during the team’s training session in Maceio this week. “Boateng has since showed no remorse for his actions which has resulted in the decision.”
The statement said both Muntari and Boateng’s accreditation for the World Cup has been withdrawn “with immediate effect”
The Ghana players had been in a dispute over money, and the Ghana FA reportedly flew a chartered plane to Brazil carrying threemillion US dollars in order to pay the players their appearance fees.
That money was said to have arrived in Brazil yesterday. Speaking prior to the suspension, Ghana midfielder Christian Atsu had insisted the dispute would not affect the team on the pitch as they prepare for a must-win game against Portugal. ”We are not going to say we are not going to play because of the money,” Atsu said on the Ghana FA’s website.
”We love our nation and we are going to play for our nation.” But events since then cannot help but overshadow that match. Any winner between Ghana and Portugal could advance to the next round if the United States lose to Germany.
The suspensions continue a chaotic World Cup for Ghana, which began with their FA strongly denying that it had agreed for the national team to play in matches later this year which others were preparing to fix.
An undercover investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Telegraph identified two people, one a licensed Fifa agent and the other a Ghana club official, who said they could fix friendly matches involving the national side. GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi denied that he had agreed for two proposed matches to go ahead.
More to follow