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Money makes the ball go round: Russia’s Euro 2012 bonuses ‘crazy’

Published time: July 11, 2012 06:13
Edited time: July 11, 2012 10:13
Russian national team captain, Andrey Arshavin (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)

Russian national team captain, Andrey Arshavin (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)

Russian footballers refused to come out to the pitch at Euro 2012 until they were promised “crazy” bonuses for representing their country, says Soviet football veteran and RFU employee, Anzor Kavazashvili.

­“Ahead of the first match against the Czech Republic, our players have put a condition that they wouldn’t play unless they were paid a certain sum,” Kavazashvili told “In the end, we agreed that at the group stages they’d receive 800,000 euro (each) for victory and 400,000 euro for a draw.”

“This is crazy money, equal to the annual budget of a good sports school or even several of them.  It's just awful,” the 71-year-old added.

Kavazashvili, who now heads the Russian Football Union’s committee to investigate match-fixing, was the USSR’s first choice goalkeeper at two FIFA World Cups, in 1966 and 1970.

As for the Russian players at Euro 2012, they only managed to earn themselves 1.2 million euro, after beating the Czechs (4-1) and drawing against Poland (1-1).

They failed to qualify for the playoffs despite being headed by the highest-paid coach at the tournament, with Dick Advocaat being paid 7 million euro per year.

The Dutchman left the team right after their 1-0 loss to Greece on June 16 and has not appeared in Russia since. However, according to Sport Express newspaper, he still demands another 300,000 euro from the RFU, as his contract officially expires only on July 16.