Ghana Sends Plane to Brazil with $3 Million On It for Soccer Team

USA v Ghana: 2010 FIFA World Cup - Round of Sixteen

After hearing this news, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about a U.S. athlete wanting more money again. Reportedly, Ghana has sent a plane to Brazil that is carrying over $3 million in cold hard cash. This money will be used to pay Ghana’s national soccer team, known as the Black Stars,  for appearing at the World Cup.

“The players insisted that they will want physical cash,” Ghana’s Deputy Sports Minister Joseph Yammin stated. “Government had to mobilize the money and a chartered flight to Brazil. The money is in excess of $3 million.”

The Ghana soccer team is supposed to be paid by this afternoon with money from the Ghana government. However, Ghana will reportedly be reimbursed by money that FIFA will award to Ghana. Therefore, this isn’t so much Ghana’s government paying its athletes as it is FIFA paying them.

Ghana has played two matches so far in the World Cup. In those two matches, the soccer team has lost to the United States 2-1 and also had 2-2 tie with Germany. Ghana’s final match of the first round is against Portugal tomorrow, and they will need to win the game if they want to have any hope of making it to the second round of the World Cup. The president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, has promised his team that they will have their money before they play Portgual.

“President Mahama waded into the matter after agitation from the Black Stars players,” the association said. “President Mahama personally spoke to the players to assure them the money will be paid by Wednesday afternoon.”

The Ghanaian government may find it difficulty to transport such a huge sum of money into Brazil, however, if it finds that it doesn’t have the needed clearance from customs. Additionally, Ghana should also worry about the safety of the plane, as a plane carrying that much money, especially in cash, is a major target for a potential hijacking.

“At the drop of a hat, to bring in $3 million in cash, it might get you into a spot of bother,” said Ion De Vleeschauwer, chief dealer at Bidvest Bank in Johannesburg. “I don’t think the Brazilians will confiscate it but they just may not allow it to be released.”

Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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