The former Eskisehirspor centre-back shares his thoughts on the global showpiece controversy
Six years down the line, Ghana international Jerry Akaminko has jumped to the defence of team-mate John Boye who was the subject of controversy during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Following a turbulent camp agitation over unpaid appearance fees ahead of a must-win last group match against Portugal – an episode that hogged media headlines around the world – Boye was captured on camera kissing a bundle of cash after the Black Stars finally received payment for the arrears.
The photo went viral on social media, becoming the subject of many discussions. To compound matters, Boye scored an own goal the following day against Portugal as Ghana exited the global showpiece at the group stage for the first time ever.
“He wasn’t wrong [to kiss his cash],” Akaminko, who just missed the tournament after picking up an injury in a warm-up fixture against the Netherlands, told Citi TV.
“The way football fanatics see these things is not the way we see it as athletes.
“For someone to work that hard and not get his money but receive it later at that time, it was a different feeling and I am sure he did that for the camera.
“John Boye has seen $100,000 [€88,840] before, maybe even more.
“If the players had received their money [early enough], nobody would have seen John Boye kissing the money.”
After a 2-1 opening day defeat to the USA and a thrilling 2-2 draw with eventual champions Germany, Ghana needed a win at all costs against Portugal to progress from the group stage as they did on their World Cup debut in 2006 and in 2010 when they reached the quarter-final.
The days leading up to the all-important clash was characterised by controversy.
The team boycotted a training session in protest over the unpaid appearance fees, over $3.5 million [€3,109,414] cash had to be flown from Ghana to Brazil on the matches eve – under global media surveillance – to pay off the arrears and calm the camp agitations, the same night Boye was captured on camera just after he received his share of the cash.
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On the morning of the big game, key duo Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng were sent home from camp for separate incidents of indiscipline.
Ghana ultimately lost 2-1 at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia and were promptly sent packing.
After the tournament, then Ghana president John Mahama set up a Commission of Enquiry to investigate matters of the embarrassing campaign in Brazil.