Ozil donates World Cup bonus to charity – what do others do?

Fifa gives $400m to the countries at the World Cup but how they spend it is up to them

Mesut Ozil celebrates Germany's World Cup triumph
(Image credit: Markus Gilliar - Pool/Getty Images)

Arsenal forward Mesut Ozil has become the latest World Cup star to donate his earnings from the tournament to charity.

The German revealed this week that he has donated around £350,000 of his winnings to fund medical operations for 23 children in Brazil through the charity Bigshoe, set up in 2006.

Announcing the news on his Facebook page this week Ozil said the donation was a "personal thank you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil", reports the Daily Telegraph.

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His actions appear to be in stark contrast to those of some players at the tournament, after reports that the Cameroon and Nigeria squads threatened to strike unless they were paid their appearance bonuses and the Ghana FA was forced to fly $3m in cash to Brazil to appease its players during the tournament.

It also raises questions about what happens to the money Fifa gives to the stars of the World Cup and the Football Associations they represent.

More than $400m goes to the 32 national federations taking part in the tournament, which can spend the money as they choose, explains Yahoo, and much of it is passed on to the players.

The winners get $35m, the runners-up $25m and even those teams that failed to get out of their groups get $8m.

"How do they spend it? Four years ago, Fifa acknowledged it did not know if the $8m paid to North Korea would stay within football there," says Yahoo.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke says that written assurances about payments will be sought ahead of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Here's where some of the other players' bonus money apparently went this year:


Teams that make the round of 16 in Brazil were awarded $9m, and Greece's players were reportedly in line to receive almost $60,000 each. But in a letter to the prime minister, Antonis Samaras, the squad asked for the money to be spent on the team's future.

In the letter the players wrote: "We do not want extra bonus, or money. We only play for Greece and its people. All we want is for you to support our effort to find a land and create a sports centre that will house our National team."


There were misleading reports that Mesut Ozil had donated his bonus to children's charities in Gaza, and a similar story circulated after the Algerian side returned home to a heroes welcome after losing to Germany in the knock-out stages.

A tweet from a Jordanian football journalist started the rumour.

Striker Islam Slimani has revealed #ALG will donate their World Cup prize money to the people in Gaza. "They need it more than us." — Waleed Abu Nada (@waleedabunada) July 2, 2014

However, the story and the comments of striker Islam Slimani have not been verified, says Bleacher Report.

The Algerian fans do sing songs in support of Palestine and players paraded a Palestinian flag during their open-top bus tour after the tournament.


Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi came up with a plan that has seen the team donate $135,000 to a children's hospital in Buenos Aires, according to Argentine paper El Dia.


Anyone hoping to beat up England's players even more after their group stage exit will be disappointed as the Three Lions always donate their international appearance fees to charity.

"England, had they made it to the finals and won, would have donated their £350,000 bonuses to charity as they do for all international games," reports The Guardian.

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