It’s one thing to root and keep hope alive for one’s team. But some people are more able and willing to do a little more than just that. And it’s easier to do such a thing when you’re a billionaire.
Russian billionaire, and Spartak Moscow owner Leonid Fedun is doing everything he can to help Russia make the Group E qualifier. See, Russia was once in the driver’s seat, controlling their own destiny. But having lost to mighty Israel on Saturday, they now need some help. Namely, they need Croatia to beat England on Wednesday. And therein lies Fedun’s incentives.
Fedun said he would donate four Mercedes to Croatia’s best players should they win at Wembley on Wednesday.
Fedun said he simply wanted to boost Croatia's morale by offering their goalkeeper and the top three field players each a Mercedes. Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa plays for Spartak.While the thought of this incentive system might have the stink of unethical behavior, it’s not expressly forbidden under UEFA rules. It’s actually thought to be quite common in many European leagues. It’s quite so in the Russian Premier League, where the practice is known as 'stimulyatsiya' or 'stimulation'.
"I'm doing this strictly as a fan," Fedun was quoted as saying by the Russian media.
"If we have even a small chance we must try to use it."
Although the initial thoughts behind it might make you uncomfortable, in the end, it doesn’t seem so bad. After all, someone is offering an incentive to win, not lose. The incentives aren’t to throw a game, but instead do what you’re supposed to strive for anyhow, which is winning. That’s what athletes paid to do. And so if the incentive system isn’t banned because it’s unethical, perhaps it should be banned out of principle. The world’s greatest athletes are already paid to win. Competition should be in their blood. They should go all out every game. And they shouldn’t be out there to win in the name of a new car.