There have been a few stories about players not being paid by their nations for their appearances at the 2014 World Cup. Last week, a plane with $3 million landed in Brazil to give Ghana their bonuses. Cameroon threatened not to fly to Brazil unless their pay was figured out.
Now, we have a story on the opposite spectrum, as the players from Greece have requested their bonuses to be used to build a new training center for the national team. Greece is a surprising team that made it to the Round of 16, and now they have gained admiration with this generous move.
The players made their request to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday in a detailed letter. After this Greece team became the first in its nation’s history to get out of the group stage, they decided it was more important to support the program than themselves. The letter was very clear.
“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 center that will house our National team.”
Greece generally trains in Athens, which is where the home office resides for the football federation. The assumption would be that this is the home for the new training facility. It has not yet been stated how much each player was expected to get in bonuses. As a comparison, the Spain players were reportedly owed $980,000 each. The Greece bonuses are surely less than this figure.
Greece made it out of the group by scoring only two goals, but they set a new standard for their nation. Now the players are giving back to provide resources for the future. It is a great gesture.