Ghana has sent a plane carrying more than $3 million in cash to Brazil to pay the World Cup appearance fees owed to the national soccer team, known as the Black Stars.
“The players insisted that they will want physical cash,” Deputy Sports Minister Joseph Yammin said in comments broadcast by Accra-based Citi FM. “Government had to mobilize the money and a chartered flight to Brazil. The money is in excess of $3 million.”
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama contacted the team and the arrangements for payment were made after, the Ghana Football Association said in a statement on its website. The players will be paid today and the government will be reimbursed by money awarded to Ghana by FIFA, soccer’s governing body, the association said.
The team, which includes Sulley Muntari of AC Milan and Kevin-Prince Boateng of FC Schalke, has played two matches so far in the tournament, losing 2-1 to the U.S. and drawing 2-2 with Germany. They play their final first round match against Portugal tomorrow and need to win to have any chance of progressing. The Black Stars were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Uruguay in 2010’s tournament in South Africa.
“President Mahama waded into the matter after agitation from the Black Stars players,” the association said. “President Mahama personally spoke to the players to assure them the money will be paid by Wednesday afternoon.”