S. Korean footballers to receive 2.5 bln won World Cup qualification bonus

December 26, 2017
This file photo, taken on Nov. 10, 2017, shows the South Korean men's national football team players before they play against Colombia in a friendly match in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

This file photo, taken on Nov. 10, 2017, shows the South Korean men’s national football team players before they play against Colombia in a friendly match in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Dec. 26 (Yonhap) — South Korean footballers who helped the national team qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will get special bonuses for their achievement, the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Tuesday.

The KFA said it decided to give out a 2.5 billion won (US$2.32 million) bonus to South Korean men’s football team members who secured their presence at the 2018 World Cup in September.

The KFA, however, said the financial rewards will not be given to former national team head coach Uli Stielike. The 63-year-old German was sacked in June after South Korea showed an uninspiring performance in their first eight matches at the final Asian World Cup qualifying campaign.

Current head coach Shin Tae-yong took over the senior squad in July and led South Korea to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after collecting two draws in the remaining qualifying matches.

“Stielike and his foreign assistant had an incentive clause in their contracts if South Korea clinched a World Cup berth,” a KFA official said. “South Korea had not secured their World Cup ticket when Stielike was sacked, so he does not qualify for a bonus payment.”

Any player who received a national team call-up at least once during the final World Cup qualifying round is eligible for the bonus payment.

As a reward for the 2014 World Cup qualification, the national players were divided into four groups according to their contributions to the campaign, and the KFA paid the top-rated players 100 million won each, with the second group earning 80 million won. Players in the third group got 60 million won, while the rest received 40 million won.

The KFA said it will soon talk with Shin to rate the players’ contribution levels. Shin is currently on a business trip to inspect national players in European football leagues.

The KFA, meanwhile, said its 2018 budget will be 97.5 billion won, up 25 percent from this year’s budget of 77.8 billion won.

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