Ghana’s head of delegation at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, Cudjoe Fianoo, believes the hosts’ disappointing performance at the tournament was due to an unfortunate switch in focus.
Without a doubt, the Black Queens were the biggest casualty of the first round, exiting the championship after finishing third in Group A.
Bashir Hayford’s outfit opened the tournament with a 1-0 triumph over Algeria, fell 2-1 to Mali before settling for a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in their last game.
“Some of the players wanted to use this tournament as a basis to demand old outstanding bonuses due them,” Fianoo, also the chairman of the Ghana League Clubs Association, explained, as reported by The Finder.
“When we spoke to them and looked at the documentation, we realised that some of the bonuses dated as far back as 2014 and 2016 and came up to about $500,000 [€443,046] in total.
“So the [Ghana football] Normalisation Committee and the Sports Ministry spoke to the girls to keep their focus on this tournament while they worked with Finance and Accountant General to sort out the outstanding bonuses.
“However, the ministry gave the girls some money as a form of motivation and I can tell you that even the bonuses they were supposed to get for this tournament were doubled.
“But the truth is the money issues made the team lose focus.”
Three-time losing finalists, Ghana were hoping to leverage on their hosts status to win their first ever title.
The first round elimination did not only cost them a place in the last four but also a possible ticket for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup as finishing among the top three at the Awcon guarantees qualification for next year’s world gathering.