Ghana lost its first game to the USA and could have been eliminated with a loss to Germany on Saturday, but the USA's 2-2 tie with Portugal gave the
Black Stars new life. And brought to a head the matter of player bonuses that they hope to have settled when they receive their $75,000-$100,000 bonus payments -- all in cash.
over beat-up Portugal and a Germany win over the USA would likely send Ghana into the round of 16 for the third straight time.
Ghana's president, John
, was called in to intervene and a settle a dispute over bonuses that became so distracting that the Black Stars did not practice on Tuesday. The issue was decided after a phone
call between Dramani Mahama had with captain Asamoah Gyan
and other Black Star veterans. The Ghana Football Association reported that conversation had "brought
some assurance to the Black Stars."
The players were apparently reluctant to accept the word of the Ghana Football Association that they would be paid by wire transfer, so they wanted to
be paid by cash, which was being flown from Ghana.
Asked what he do with the money, Christian Atsu said, "I think we will keep it in our bags, and we'll just lock them. And we will
transfer the money to our accounts.''
Like other African teams, the Ghana Football Association needed the Ghanaian government to front the bonus money that it will then pay back when it
receives its participation fee from FIFA. Part of that fee was paid in advance but for the purpose of paying for the team's pre-tournament preparations.<