Ghana's World Cup team was growing quite frustrated since the tournament began, and not just because they haven't won a game yet. The players had not been paid their appearance fees since the World Cup started. Deputy Sports Minister, Joseph Yamin, said the payment delay occurred because players and officials could not settle on the form of payment, and there were difficulties transporting the payment. You see, the players wanted $3 million in cold, hard cash.
The players made it abundantly clear that they preferred cash to electronic wire payments, which is how the government generally sends them money. Yamin tried to reason with the team, explaining that sending $3 million dollars in cash is not only difficult, but also, well... not a very good idea, "but the players are still insisting that they wouldn’t take anything but physical cash." As the players grew agitated, it sparked fears of what they might do if they went unpaid — possibly even refusing to play.
Today, Ghana President John Dramani Mahama personally saw to it that players would not walk away from the matches. President Mahama spoke with the players and assured them that the payment was en route. Complying with the demands of their star athletes, Ghana government officials pre-financed the payment in all cash, put it in a plane, and flew it over to Brazil. Just in time for tomorrow's do-or-die match against Portugal.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.