General News of 2014-06-29

Black Stars touch down in Accra with an apology

The senior national team, the Black Stars, touched down at the Kotoka International Airport on Sunday, with tonnes of apology from captain Asamoah Gyan and Coach Kwasi Appiah.

Far from the pomp and camaraderie that greeted their arrival in 2010, the team touched down to an empty arrival hall with just a hand full of journalists ready with their questions.

According to Joy Sports' Benedict Owusu, the players were in no mood for interviews, sneaking into their bus and into their hotel.

Four players, apart from Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng, failed to arrive with the team.

Whilst Kevin and Muntari were dismissed from the team's camp for various acts of misconduct and indiscipline, Michael Essien, Christian Atsu, Albert Adoma and Adam Kwarasey were granted permission to depart in London.

Ghana's semi-final quest in the 2014 World Cup was botched after a comedy of scandals including player indiscipline, poor organisation by management rocked the team's camp.

Ghana sat at the foot of Group G and only managed a point after a scintillating game with group favourites Germany. They lost to US and Portugal in the other group games.

Days to the must win game against Portugal, the team threatened to boycott the game if they were not paid their appearance fees. They insisted that they should be paid in cash.

That forced the country to airlift 3 million cedis cash to the players before they could play. They lost the game against Portugal by 2-1 with John Boye scoring an own goal.

The players had their $100,000 cash appearance fees paid to them but had 17 per cent tax deducted from it by the Brazilian authorities in line with their financial laws.

The players arrived in Accra around 2:00 pm, Benedict Owusu stated. Some of the players did not want to speak, but team captain Gyan offered the opportunity for journalists to ask a number of questions.

"We went to a tournament to make the nation proud but things didn't happen.

"All I have to say is sorry to all Ghanaians for our performance," he said.

"I won't say it's good to be back. But we just have to focus on our next assignment," Asamoah Gyan said.

His coach Kwasi Appiah also apologised for the team's inability to qualify from the group.

He stated however that with 70 per cent of the team being very youthful, there is still good times ahead for the Black Stars.