Ghana continues to make headlines at this year’s World Cup in Brazil, even though their national team was eliminated at the group stages of the tournament. According to statements from the Federal Police office in the city of Caxias do Sul, close to 200 Ghanaian fans are seeking asylum in the city, reports Reuters.
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Ghana is relatively peaceful when compared to its regional neighbors who participated in the World Cup. Cote D’Ivoire recently emerged from a civil war and Nigeria is having security challenges with terrorist group Boko Haram on the rise. In spite of this relative peace, the asylum seekers are “claiming to be Muslims fleeing the violent conflicts between different Muslim groups.’”
Still, officials claim that the city expects more than 1,000 asylum applications from Ghanaians within the next couple of weeks.
Brazilian law permits individuals seeking asylum to work and freely move in to the country while they await a decision from the Justice Ministry.
It is widely believed in the West African nation that many Ghanaian fans who were airlifted with tax payers’ money to Brazil already have strong political affiliations with the ruling government. Their sponsorship to Brazil was, in part, a way to show appreciation of their electoral services that brought the government to power in 2012.
Ghana’s, one of Africa’s top prospects in Brazil, hopes of improving on their quarterfinals achievement in 2010 edition were dashed this year due to off-the-field squabbles between administrative officials and players on appearance payments.
In an attempt to resolve the impasse, the government airlifted $3 million to Brazil. Still, this did not stop Ghana from crashing out of the tournament after falling to Portugal.
The Government of Ghana has since set up a committee to investigate the team’s failure in Brazil.
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