Before a ball has even been kicked the USA’s chances of advancing from Group G were given a huge boost on Thursday.
Head coach Kwasi Appiah has reportedly kicked out two of Ghana’s most talented and experienced players on the eve of their World Cup decider against Portugal.
In a bizarre twist, Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng will not play any part in helping the Black Stars advance by beating Portugal after they were said to have fought against each other in training on Tuesday.
It is then said that Muntari, who was already suspended for the game vs. Portugal after picking up two yellow cards vs. the USA and Germany at the World Cup, slapped committee member Moses Armah on Wednesday and Boateng has had heated rows with head coach Appiah. Reporters following the squad have spoken to both Muntari and Boateng and they have not traveled with the team to play Portugal in Brasilia.
That has resulted in both players being kicked off the squad, even though a win of two goals or more and a U.S. defeat to Germany on Thursday will likely see Ghana advance to the last 16 of the World Cup.
Why are tensions so high in the Ghana camp despite the obvious reasons of a World Cup showdown? Money.
On Wednesday reports of $3 million being flown to Brazil from Ghana, in order to pay their players their bonuses and fees, surfaced and it seems as though further issues have been caused by the lack of payment and players being left in limbo.
All of this madness will hardly have prepared Ghana’s young squad correctly for their crucial match with Portugal which they know they must win in order to have any chance whatsoever of making the knockout stages ahead of the U.S. As for the USA, news of this unrest and upheaval in Ghana’s camp is a huge boost before the face Germany. If Portugal beats Ghana, they have to overturn a much large goal difference to overcome the U.S. and finish second in Group G. Even if the USA lose by two and Portugal win by three, the Americans will go through.
That said, this is all about Ghana and the way they are dramatically unraveling.