Consider a world in which the England kit man is paid as big an appearance fee as Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart or Raheem Sterling.
Tough to imagine? Not so if you worked for Ghana’s Football Association at the 2014 World Cup where their “equipment officer” earned $100,000 (£64,000), according to a government report.
In a 396-page report which investigates the Black Stars’ first-round exit in Brazil, payment for a role also defined as “ball boy” is highlighted.
Ismail Hamidu was the lucky recipient of a sum equal to that earned by individual players, doctors, coaches and manager James Kwesi Appiah.
But Ghana’s Football Association (GFA) insisted his role as “kit man” was “key” and claim branding him a “ball boy” is “hideously inappropriate”.
“While the commission is seeking to mock the person, the position or his role in the team, it must be made clear that the payment of the appearance fees to the kit manager was made after government vetted and approved it,” said the GFA in a statement.
The report also found a fee of $5,263 (£3,345) was paid to Ghana’s official drummer.
His beat was not enough to help the team beat Portugal in their final group fixture to reach the second round, a match which followed the country’s government flying $3m out to South America to settle a pay dispute with players.
Two sentences in the Dzamefe Report that perhaps sum up the frustrations and difficulties of Ghana’s World Cup campaign are:
- The government’s decision to pay $100,000 to each of their 23 players “reduced the tension”
- “The players however insisted on being paid in cash and this reignited the tension”
The report aims to unpick myriad financial issues surrounding Ghana’s World Cup campaign, including some payments which could not be verified or accounted for.
The African side received $8m (£5m) for their group-stage exit, but spent almost $4m more than that on their campaign from the beginning of qualifying.