|Kevin-Prince Boateng has accused the Ghana Football Association of breaking promises it made to persuade him to return to international football. Photograph: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images|
Kevin-Prince Boateng has hit back at the Ghana Football Association after being sent home early from the World Cup, describing the Black Stars’ organisation during the tournament in Brazil as “amateurish”.
The Schalke midfielder and team-mate Sulley Muntari were expelled from the Ghana squad on the day of their final match against Portugal after Boateng was accused of making “vulgar verbal insults” towards coach James Appiah. Muntari was also accused of an “unprovoked physical attack” on a member of the Ghana FA, with both players asked to leave the camp before the 2-1 defeat to Portugal in Brasília which consigned them to bottom spot in Group G.
Boateng – who only returned to the Black Stars’ set-up last year having retired from international football after the last World Cup – is now back at his home in Germany. In an interview with newspaper Bild published on Sunday, he accuses the GFA of having failed to live up to promises it made to him before the tournament.
“Everything – the hotels, the flights – everything was amateurish,” he said.
“The GFA president visited me in Milan begging me to play for Ghana again. He gave me his word that we would have better travel, better organisation and preparation. He has not kept his word. In the end I was just still dissatisfied.
“It was a nightmare from the first day of the preparation to the end,” Boateng added. “We flew to the first training camp from Amsterdam to Miami. However, we travelled in two groups, since there was no space.
One group flew through Atlanta, the other New York. We sat for around nine hours at the airport - a total of 19 hours on the road.
“The flight from Miami to Brazil a week later took 12 hours and we sat and concentrated in economy class. The legs ached. It sounds strange for an average citizen, but for a competitive athlete that is a disgrace.
The Ghana FA president sat in business class with his wife and two children. And then in Brazil, we finally had a charter flight but my luggage was lost. Two days without football boots – it was a disaster.”
Appiah was the first homegrown coach to lead Ghana to a World Cup. But asked his opinion on whether he had a clue about tactics, Boateng gave a less than ringing endorsement. “No. But I have respect for him [as a] person,” he said. “I have always behaved positively. But if someone asks me about him, whether he is a good coach, I’d say no.”
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama spoke with captain Asamoah Gyan on the telephone to resolve a dispute over player bonuses ahead of the Portugal match, with $3m in cash flown to Brazil on a private jet. However, Boateng claimed that was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of issues that dogged the squad.
He said: “That was the smallest problem. Everything had accumulated over a month. It was pure disaster. Poor training conditions and sleep options, I just wonder where all the money was flowing too.
“The association get so much money from sponsors and Fifa - it was certainly not used for hotels, flights, the team and the preparation.”
Boateng also insisted that there was a lack of team spirit among the squad in direct contrast to the last World Cup in South Africa, when Ghana came within a missed penalty of becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-final.
“We were not a real team. Everyone was busy with themselves,” he said.
“There were two or three players who were just glad Sulley Muntari and I were suspended. They said it to my face. We all know that I have never insulted the coach. Nevertheless, they have turned the manager against Sulley and me. I am very calm and relaxed, because I definitely know that I did no such thing.
“I have represented my opinion. There was no player who was happy. We had 100 meetings with the delegation. We told them that we need tens of change things. because of this I am an easy victim.”