The four Group G teams—Germany, USA, Portugal, and Ghana—play today in the final Group of Death matchday. We all know the stakes. If the U.S. lose to Germany and Ghana beat Portugal by a couple of goals, Ghana will advance with Germany to the knockout rounds. That's why the news that not one, but two key Ghanaian players have been suspended indefinitely from the squad is so shocking.
The Ghana FA has confirmed that midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince-Boateng have been sent home before the vital Portugal match for two separate incidents. Muntari is said to have slapped Ghana management committee member Moses Armah Parker. The FA released a statement yesterday that read:
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.
Muntari's accreditation for the 2014 World Cup has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
Ghana Sports Online has even more details about the incident, saying that Marmah was slapped and "even chased with with broken bottles at the hotel over disagreements with appearance fees and other bonuses owed the players," which, Christ. Earlier this week, players had threatened a boycott of today's game, demanding $3 million in appearance fees, to be divided among the 23 players. In response, Ghana sent a plane full of cash that was supposed to arrive on Wednesday.
Muntari has played every minute of Ghana's first two matches this World Cup. It's hard to believe, but Ghana had more news today, when the FA released a statement on Prince-Boateng's dismissal:
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.
Ghana Sports Online says that this isn't the first time Prince-Boateng has argued with Appiah, the national team manager. The star, they claim, is "believed to have had several altercations with the head coach of the team at the training grounds. The former AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs star publicly criticised the managers' formation and selection in the opening Group G loss to USA in Natal."
Both suspensions are effective immediately.
UPDATE: Muntari was already suspended for the Portugal match after accruing a yellow card in each of Ghana's first two games.
Allsports Ghana has more details about Muntari's fight with Parker:
Muntari squared off against the Medeama SC owner and Black Stars management committee member at a meeting between the players and management where both men exchanged punches before storming Parker's room where he smashed a MacBook Pro, destroyed phones and property in the room at the Brasilia Palace Hotel the official was staying.
Parker was all along held up on the balcony of the room, protected from the raw rage and anger of the player by other players and officials.
The confrontation begun around 11.30 PM on the first night of the team's stay in Brasilia ahead of their Group G game against Portugal. The players had demanded a meeting with management as the row over their appearance fees gathered steam. With the meeting set to begin, Muntari asked Parker to leave as he asked GFA president who he was.
An exchange of words ensued with Muntari reportedly telling Parker something along the lines of "if you people make small coins you think you have money so you can talk to us anyhow." Muntari then threw a first punch, Parker retaliated hitting the Milan star and drawing blood in the process.
Hotel security had to intervene. They tried to restrain Muntari so that Parker could return to his room on the second floor, but Muntari was reportedly so charged up that he "floored" two security guards, and shoved or shook off everyone else who attempted to hold him back.
Muntari actually made it all the way into Parker's room, who took refuge on the balcony, and 6-foot-2 center back Jonathan Mensah had to step in to block the midfielder. Parker was forced to switch hotels.
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