Each player of Turkey's national amputee football team will get 1 million Turkish liras ($273,000) as bonus for winning the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) European Championship.
Head of the Turkish Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled (TBESF) Arif Ümit Uztürk said Tuesday that since there was no agreement between the government and the national team players, they were rewarded by the public.
"Our footballers have spent a long period of time working to become the champions. Our sportsmen believed in championship and succeeded in lifting the cup. There is a reward for every success," adding that businessmen and municipalities stepped in to financially reward the European champions.
According to Uztürk, Ağaoğlu Corporate Group Chairman Ali Ağaoğlu gifted each team member an apartment, Ankara Metropolitan Municipality provided TL 3 million ($820,000), Gaziantep Şahinbey Municipality presented every player with 30 Cumhuriyet gold coins costing TL 1,000 ($275) each and businessmen Galip Öztürk gave out TL 500,000 ($137,000).
Turkcell, the main sponsor of the team, also paid out a championship bonus of 200,000 Turkish liras ($54,300).
"Our athletes were awarded an average of 1 million [Turkish] liras per person. There have also been many institutions and organizations that have announced that they will reward [the players]. Our players still deserve so much more," Uztürk said.
The TBESF chief also touched upon the topic of the upcoming World Cup in Mexico.
"Next year, we will go to the World Cup in Mexico with an epaulette of being European champions. We will do everything to defend that title. We are going to start the preparations soon," he said.
Uztürk also said that TBESF was working closely with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to increase the quality of amputee football training grounds and fields in the future.
Turkey's national amputee football team Oct. 9 beat England 2-1 at the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) European Championship final match to be crowned European champions at Vodafone Park in Istanbul.
Turkey ranked second at the EAFF European Championship in 2004 and 2008, and third at the World Championship in 2007. The amputee football national team is part of the Turkish Disabled Sports Federation, supported by the Turkish Football Federation's "Turkey Plays Football" program.