Germany’s Özil, World Cup winnings, and Gaza

WM 2010 - Argentinien - Deutschland

Germany’s Mesut Özil (L) and Lukas Podolski celebrate after the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and Germany at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa 03 July 2010 |Marcus Brandt dpa

2014 FIFA World CupGerman international footballer and Arsenal FC player Mesut Özil is reportedly donating his World Cup earnings to the children of Gaza amid the Israeli bombing campaign that has claimed at least 214 lives since July 7 at the time of this report.

Özil, who is of Turkish origin, made the annoucement after Germany’s World Cup triumph according to various news websites.

The German Football Association awarded each of the team’s players a €300,000 bonus for winning the cup, in addition to €150,000 following their semi-final win and other rewards for every game.

The football star has had much coverage on social media after he started the final against Argentina with a recitation of the Qur’an on the pitch, and concluded the game prostrating in thanks to Allah. There was no such “controversy” about how his team-mates celebrated their victory.

Özil caused “controversy” after he declined to shake hands with a FIFA official because of FIFA’s support for Israel, which has been condemned by many leading footballers from Europe, Asia and Africa.

In November 2012, 62 leading footballers signed a statement protesting UEFA’s decision to stage the European under-21 championship in Israel in 2013 following the country’s military offensive against Gaza. FIFA’s self-serving and so-called FAIR PLAY and TAKE A STAND AGAINST RACISM policy is not so “fair” nor so anti-racist. 

Earlier, Algerian striker Islam Slimani said that the team will donate their World Cup prize money of some $9 million to the people in Gaza because “they need it more than us.” 

For their part, the Greek national team reportedly decided to donate their cut for the youth football camp in Greece.

These selfless gestures are not reported in the capitalist sports media that entertain with the favoured image of the self-seeking star as a “celebrity” for the American way of life.

Mezut Ozil tweet

Since this report, the British press has been quick to publish denials by Özil’s agent, Roland Eitel.

“The German midfielder gave away £350,000 of his personal World Cup winnings to 23 children’s surgeries in the South American country as a “a personal thank-you for the hospitality” – a selfless act.

No one has denied the above tweet.

this is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil

The reports, which started to circulate on Twitter on July 11, led to his representative, Roland Eitel, to deny them. According to the Telegraph:

“The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true,” he said. “Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday.”

The Arsenal playmaker, 25, confirmed the news on his Facebook page, and wrote: “Prior to the #?WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. Since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. this is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. #?Bigshoe #?Brasil2014.”

– Tony Seed, from news reports

Related reading on this website

Algeria striker announces team will donate World Cup prize money, July 3, 2014

Israeli missile kills eight watching World Cup semi-final at café, July 12, 2014

Israeli armed forces permanently injure Palestinian soccer players, March 5, 2014

Top athletes call for Israel to release Mahmoud Sarsak. June 16, 2012

To read more articles, please use the “Search” engine using the word “Palestine”





Filed under Soccer / Football

3 responses to “Germany’s Özil, World Cup winnings, and Gaza

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