The 28-year-old striker was born in Kumasi but moved to the Gulf country in his early years, prompting him to take up a new nationality and turn out for his adopted country.
Muntari, who turns out for Qatar Stars League outfit Al Duhail, will play his first World Cup for the Maroon when they host the tournament from November 21 to December 1.
Ironically, Ghana, the country he snubbed, will also take part in the competition after they beat Nigeria in the play-offs to earn qualification
In a recent interview, Muntari explained why he opted for Qatar: “Truth be told, I will choose Qatar [if I have the chance to choose all over again]. I will choose Qatar every single day [because of] what they did for me [and] what they are doing for my people.
“Deep inside, I knew I took the right decision so if you ask me to do it again, I will choose Qatar over Ghana. I am not saying anything bad about my beloved country Ghana. It was never financial [switching to Qatar]. We play football firstly because we love football and we want to take care of the people we want to take care of.”
His decision has elicited a lot of debate in Ghana and below is how they reacted on the GOAL Africa Facebook page regarding the switch.
Poco A Poco wrote: He can’t even play for Black Queens of Ghana, while Citizen Jemsino opined: “We’re Ghana, we’re doing fine without him.”
Blvk Bannerman took a dig at Muntari by saying he was not even fit to play in Ghana’s top-flight league: “He’s not even fit to play in our local league, hope he enjoys this tournament as much as we would while Nana Assiamah said: He can’t make first thousand Ghana squad.”
“He wanted to play in this year’s World Cup not knowing that Ghana will qualify,” quipped Phatela P Mothapo while Mezzaya Dat wondered: “Even if he picked Ghana over Qatar, who is he going to bench?”
Meanwhile, another fan opined Qatar will not go past the group stage in the World Cup: “Qatar won’t make it past the group stage no need for the fuss,” wrote Sir’turn Frosh.
Another section of fans defended Muntari, insisting he had made the right decision. Jamila Sarpong wrote: “It’s a good choice. Nobody will do juju against him. And he will get more money when playing for Qatar while Kenyani Godius said: “I could do the same. Ghana is cursed.”
Sylvester W Ndinyo wrote: “I support him; we are far from civilization, lack of strategy, if you get a chance to be outside the country, use the opportunity, die poor in your country, or die rich in Qatar? Are you thinking aloud? Poverty never goes hand in hand with patriotism.”
“I do appreciate his wise choice,” opined Umar M Aleeyu while Shaibu Dabre wrote: “He’s been with the Qatar national team for a long time. Obviously, his decision has nothing to do with his uncertainty about Ghana qualifying for the World Cup.
“He’s making some very good money and his decision has opened doors for his family.”