Ghana’s national team has seen both its image and its World Cup campaign damaged by a dispute over pay. The players were allegedly considering going on strike for their final group game against Portugal, a move prevented by the delivery — via the President’s private plane — of $3 million in cash.
. The dispute echoed events surrounding Cameroon’s national team in 2002, 2006 and 2014, and Nigeria’s this year too. Arguments over the size of the players’ bonuses hindered both their preparation for the World Cup, and their progress through it.
Some analysts imagine that West African countries are uniquely prone to this type of discontent, and that their footballing institutions are some sort of metaphor for the national condition, where the best intentions are waylaid by greed and corruption. Certainly, the allegations of match-fixing recently leveled against the Ghanaian Football Association have helped to fan the flames of this particular stereotype. It is a temptingly simple analysis, but it lacks merit.
Please continue to read the story on Al Jazeera America’ World Cup Blog, written by Musa Okwanga, poet, sportswriter; author, musician; journalist, broadcaster, communications adviser.