Ghana’s government has said it is “scandalized” after 200 Ghanaian World Cup fans asked for asylum in Brazil, saying they were Muslims fleeing religious conflict.
The Ghanaian government statement said there is no religious violence in the country.
The group is believed to be part of a government-sponsored delegation, mainly composed of supporters of the governing party.
Ghana is seen as one of West Africa’s most peaceful and prosperous countries.
“The basis for this alleged request is completely false as no religious conflict is taking place in Ghana,” said a statement from Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu. “Ghana’s mission in Brazil has been instructed to liaise with the Brazilian authorities to investigate the matter.”
The Ghanaians filed their applications in the southern city of Caxias do Sul, in one of Brazil’s most prosperous areas.
The Brazilian authorities believe many of the Ghanaians are looking for the right to work legally in the country.
“This region – Serra Gaucha – is known as an area of full employment,” federal police chief Noerci da Silva Melo said in Caxias do Sul, speaking to Agencia Brasil news agency.
“It has became a magnet for foreign workers. You go through the streets and you can see many Haitians and Senegalese selling pirate CDs and watches. The area is overcrowded now,” he said.