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Ghana suspends key players Kevin Prince-Boateng, Sulley Muntari for World Cup 06.26.14 at 10:09 am ET
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When Ghana takes the field Thursday at noon against Portugal the team will be without two key players, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, as they were sent home following confrontations with their coach and officials from the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

Ghana is fighting for a chance to advance out of Group G — which includes the United States — and reach the Round of 16, but the challenge got tougher without the two suspended players.

According to the GFA, Boateng was suspended for his treatment of coach Kwesi Appiah.

“The decision was taken following Boateng’s vulgar verbal insults targeted at coach Kwesi Appiah during the team’s training session in Maceio this week,” the GFA said in a statement. “Boateng has since showed no remorse for his actions which has resulted in the decision. Boateng’s accreditation for the 2014 World Cup has been withdrawn with immediate effect.”

Muntari’s confrontation came with officials.

“The decision was taken in the wake of his unprovoked physical attack on an executive committee member of the GFA and a management member of the Black Stars, Mr. Moses Armah, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 during a meeting,” a GFA statement read. “Muntari’s accreditation for the 2014 World Cup has been withdrawn with immediate effect.”

Controversy has surrounded the team since its arrival in Brazil, as players demanded the payment of appearance fees for playing in the tournament.

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Italian soccer star Kevin-Prince Boateng halts game to protest racial abuse 01.04.13 at 8:57 am ET
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Soccer star Kevin-Prince Boateng led his AC Milan teammates in storming off the field midway through the first half after the team’s black players were the subject of racial abuse by Pro Patria fans during an exhibition match Thursday in Busto Arsizio, Italy.

The game was suspended after Boateng, a Ghanaian midfielder, picked up the ball and booted it toward the offending fans, took off his jersey, and led his teammates off the field, followed by the Pro Patria players.

“We are disappointed and saddened by what has happened,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “Milan play for the right to respect all players. We need to stop these uncivilized gestures. We are sorry for all the other fans who came here for a beautiful day of sport. We promise to return, and we are sorry for the club and players of Pro Patria, but we could not make any other decision. I hope it can be an important signal.”

Tweeted Boateng: Shame that these things still happen’€¦ #StopRacismforever.

Italian Football Association president Giancarlo Abete indicated there will be an investigation into the incident, the latest in a string of racial issues that have plagued European soccer over the past few years.

“No sanction or measure can erase the disdain for an unspeakable and intolerable episode,” he said in a statement on the Italian FA website. “We must react with force and without silence to isolate the few criminals that transformed a friendly march into an uproar that offends all of Italian football.”

Added Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini: “I am sorry for all those who were at the stadium, but a strong message had to be sent. AC Milan will make an effort to go back to Busto Arsizio, especially for the children and for those who have nothing to do with racism, but a message had to be sent against such uncivilized people.”

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