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Soccer-Ghana solve World Cup appearance fee row

Reuters

* Cash arriving from Ghana on Thursday

* Players miss training over row

* It should have been sorted long ago, says coach (Adds details, quotes)

By Patrick Johnston

BRASILIA, June 25 (Reuters) - Ghana have solved a row over World Cup appearance fees on the eve of their Group G finale against Portugal after President John Mahama intervened, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and coach Kwesi Appiah said on Wednesday.

The Africans missed training in Brasilia on Tuesday because of the row with the players conducting a series of meetings to discuss the matter.

Appiah, whose side face Portugal on Thursday needing a combination of results to qualify for the last 16, said the cash was on its way to the Brazilian capital by plane.

"There are some issues concerning money and the management and the government of the country are trying to sort it out and hopefully everything will be sorted out in 2-3 hours' time," he told reporters.

Appiah said the "players would kill me" if he revealed how much money they were due and added that cash was required as many of his squad didn't have bank accounts in Ghana.

The coach also said the situation had left him suffering many sleepless nights and should have been sorted long ago.

Midfielder Christian Atsu dismissed concerns the players would boycott the Portugal match if the money didn't arrive.

"This game is very important for our nation and we have to put everything behind us," the left winger said.

"It would be bad if we lost the game, people would think it because of the money. We have no option but to make our nation proud.

"We are in the biggest tournament in the world now, even if we don't get the money, we are in this tournament, the whole world is watching and tomorrow's game is very important."

The dispute was the latest in a long list of pay problems that have hit Africans teams at World Cups.

Cameroon refused to board a plane to Brazil earlier this month in a strike action over unpaid promised funds, while Togo almost missed the 2006 tournament over a pay row.

"FIFA pays all these fees after the competition," Appiah explained. "The government of the nation has to find money to pay and then get it back from FIFA. Once there is a delay then the problems come."

The GFA said in a statement: "We wish to assure the general public following President Mahama's intervention the Black Stars are in high spirits ahead of Thursday's match last Group G match against Portugal."

World governing body FIFA, who will pay $8 million in prize money to the 16 teams that are knocked out in the group stage in Brazil, said they had helped resolve the situation. (Additional reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Justin Palmer and Nigel Hunt)

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