Ghana's players react after losing over Portugal during their 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match. Photo: Ueslei Marcelino

Accra - A dispute over pay was behind Ghana's exit from the World Cup in Brazil, the president of the Ghana Football Association was quoted as saying by local media on Friday.

“Money, money, money had been the refrain by the players, and it is a pity they allowed this to ruin our World Cup,” Kwesi Nyantakyi was quoted as saying by the Daily Graphic state-owned newspaper.

Local media reported this week that players had threatened to boycott the team's Group G game against Portugal if they were not paid.

They claimed they had received none of the 75 000-dollar appearance fee promised by the association.

Ghana lost 2-1 against Portugal on Thursday, crashing out of the tournament after a poor first round also hampered by in-fighting that prompted the suspension of two players.

Ghana had hoped to repeat their success in South Africa four year ago. At the 2010 World Cup they were the only African side to advance from the Group stage.

They were knocked out by Uruguay in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals in extra time, missing a chance to become the first African team to reach the last four.