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Croatia refuses Russian reward for beating England

sports Updated: Nov 23, 2007 16:55 IST
AFP
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Croatian football chiefs on Friday rejected a Russian oil tycoon's offer of four Mercedes cars to players in the squad for allowing Russia a place in the Euro 2008 finals by defeating England.

"He can give them to his father," head of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) Vlatko Markovic told the Vecernji List daily.

"Even before the match we said we do not play for Russians or anyone else. We played only for ourselves regardless the outcome in our group."

The tycoon, Leonid Fedun, said he was sticking to his decision, made before the Wednesday's match at Wembley, to give four Mercedes cars to Croatian players.

"I will fulfill my promise although I heard that UEFA (European football's ruling body) does not like such gifts," Fedun was quoted as saying by the daily.

He has offered the cars to three Croatian players whom he would deem the best after the match and the fourth to goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa who plays for Spartak Moscow, owned by Fedun.

But on Friday Fedun said he would ship the four Mercedes cars to the HNS "since it is difficult to decide who was the best.

"They can decide what to do with the cars."

While England needed a draw to qualify for the 16-team finals of Euro 2008, to be staged in Austria and Switzerland in 2008, its 2-3 defeat by Croatia allowed Russia to qualify as a second team in the Group E.