Players For Gulf Cup Champs UAE Reportedly Received $47.4 Million In Bonuses

Photo of author
Written By Chris Azzopardi

The United Arab Emirates won their second Gulf Cup of Nations two weeks ago, defeating Iraq in an epic final that went to extra time. The reported reward to the players and coaches for the achievement, according to Abu Dhabi-based daily The National, was Dh174 million. That works out to well over $47 million, or more than $1 million a man. That’s one hell of a bonus.

So where did the massive bonus kitty come from? Rich, important Emeratis (I doubt seriously there are any Emeratis who are important and not insanely wealthy, and further, not royal in some way) who like soccer.

Via Paul Oberjuerge:

The president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, gave Dh50 million, as did the vice president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. The latter’s wife contributed Dh25 million, two more Dubai royals contributed Dh12 million, and the rulers of Umm Al Qaiwain, Sharjah and Fujairah, gave Dh10 million each, and the ruler of Ajman gave Dh7 million.

The total gift might be the largest cash prize every handed to a national team of any kind.

The players are claiming they didn’t get quite as much as the media is saying they did. Goalkeeper Ali Khaseif says most of the money went to the UAE football association.

“As for the media reports that every player is getting Dh2 million or Dh3 million, that is absolutely not true,” Khaseif said. “Most of the money will go to the UAEFA, not the players. It will go to the FA for developing the grass roots, for the travel for international games and hotels for the players.”

So how much did the players get? Khaseif won’t say. Hmm.

“Out of respect for the players and the rulers who gave the money, I do not want to say how much the players got. It is out of the question for the players to say how much they are receiving.”

The UAE has history of big bonuses for the players when they achieve success on the field. After the county’s U23s qualified for the Olympics, president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed gave each player a Dh500,000 bonus ($133,000). Many of the players on that Olympic team were also on the Gulf Cup championship squad.

If the regional tournament is worth nearly $50 million in bonuses, imagine what the Emerati players might get if they won the Asian Cup…

Oil money is SERIOUS.

Sources: The National, Oberjuerge

Leave a Comment