Immediate past head coach of the Black Stars of Ghana, Kwesi Appiah, has disclosed why players boycotted training during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
After an excellent output in 2006 and 2010 in Germany and South Africa respectively, the four-time African champions were eliminated from the group phase of the tournament, failing to win a single game.
Ghana lost to the United State of America and Portugal but drew with Germany.
However, ahead of their final group game against the Portuguese, the Black Stars players failed to show up for training in protest of their appearance fees which the government had agreed to settle.
The agitation of the players in camp and the decision to boycott training forced the government to airlift $3 million to Brazil to settle the players.
Addressing the issue in his book titled ‘Leaders Don’t Have To Yell’, the 60-year-old said the players decided to revolt due to consistent ‘promise and fail’ by the Mahama-led government.
He said he had to intervene on countless occasions to prevent the players from boycotting training sessions and matches.
“Players are professionals and expect to be respected. Promises made to them about their money should be paid. The coaching staff does not get involved in financial issues between the FA and the players. However, on more than one occasion I had to convince my players to call off their threats not to train or boycott matches in Brazil,” he said.
Coach Appiah said though he was unhappy with the development, he could not blame the players.
“While I was unhappy with the training boycott ahead of the Portugal game, I could not in good conscience fault my players for their actions, given the many times the promises made by the high-profile government officials had not been kept,” he noted.