(AFP) – Ghana stars Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng have been indefinitely suspended from their country’s World Cup squad after bust-ups with management, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) said Thursday.
Muntari, 29, is accused of attacking a member of the management team, Moses Armah, while Boateng, 27, is said to have verbally abused national team coach Kwesi Appiah, the GFA said on its website.
The news comes just one day after the Ghana government said it was airlifting $3 million (2.2m euros) to Brazil to resolve a financial dispute with players, who boycotted training on Monday in protest.
Referring to AC Milan player Muntari, the GFA said: “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.”
A similar statement explained the measure taken against Boateng, who playes for German side Schalke 04.
“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,” said the GFA statement.
“Boateng has since showed no remorse for his actions which has resulted in the decision.”
Both players have had their World Cup accreditations withdrawn, while the GFA said the decisions were taken with immediate effect.
– Shouting match –
In an interview with German newspaper Sport Bild, Boateng said Appiah had swore at him during an altercation which erupted after the two players were ordered back to the changing room for laughing during a training session.
“I asked him what he has against me, whereupon he began to scream at me. He insulted me too … ” said Boateng.
“I absolutely accept that (being sent home) but no-one should believe that I would have insulted the coach, nor to lay blame at my door.
“I’m now leaving and wish my teammates the best possible for the World Cup and the game against Portugal.”
Ghana are due to play Portugal in their final Group G match in Brasilia at 1600GMT.
The latest revelations from the Ghana camp cap a tumultuous week.
On Wednesday midfielder Christian Atsu denied the players were threatening to boycott their final Group G game amid wrangling over bonuses.
“We love our country and we will play,” said Atsu.
The team ended their protests after Ghana president John Dramani Mahama personally assured thems that he would send a chartered plane with the promised amount, more than $3 million, Atsu said.
Appiah said he was relieved the government had intervened.
“The president has intervened. That is a good thing, the government took matters in hand,” Appiah told a pre-match press conference.
Because of the bonus row, the team only arrived in Brasilia late on Wednesday and missed pre-match training.
They need to win and hope there is a winner in the other Group G match between Germany and the USA in Recife at the same time to stand any chance of making the knock-out rounds.
If the US win, they would also need to turn around a goal difference of five with respect to Germany.
Appiah, who has been coach since 2012, defended his players’ actions, explaining the bonuses should have been paid before the finals.
“FIFA pays the federations only when they arrive. The players have to wait to be paid and the country must find the money before they arrive and that is where the problem lies,” said Appiah.
Muntari, who was suspended for the Portugal game anyway after picking up two yellow cards already at the World Cup, started both Ghana‘s games so far in the competition while Boateng came on as a substitute against the United States before starting against Germany.