After Germany defeated Argentina to win the World Cup on Sunday, reports began to circulate (mainly on social media) that midfielder Mesut Ozil would donate his winnings from the event to the children of Gaza, who are suffering amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
— IBTimes UK (@IBTimesUK) July 16, 2014
Ozil will be donating his winnings — nearly $600,000, the Telegraph reports — to needy children, but not the children of Gaza. Instead, Ozil will help out sick children in Brazil.
“The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true,” Roland Eitel, Ozil’s agent, told the Independent. “Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday.”
Ozil himself took to his Facebook page to clarify things and explain his generosity:
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”