Croatia says Russian tycoon can keep cars

Other News Materials 23 November 2007 23:11 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - The head of the Croatia's soccer federation has declined a Russian tycoon's gift of four Mercedes cars made following Croatia's 3-2 victory over England at Wembley.

Leonid Fedun, who is also the owner of Spartak Moscow, pledged to give a Mercedes to the four best Croatian players after Russia lost 2-1 to Israel Saturday, leaving the national side needing a win in Andorra coupled with an England defeat to progress to the final stage of the tournament, to be held in Austria and Switzerland next summer.

"He can give them to his father," Vlatko Markovic said, "Before the match we said... we would only play for ourselves irrespective of the final group result."

Following the win the Russian tycoon reiterated his promise to give the luxury cars to the players, but said the Croatians should decide which players received the vehicles.

Ivica Olic, formerly of CSKA Moscow, and the scorer of Croatia's second goal, said after the match, "The money wasn't important. We played for our homeland, for Croatia. I have many friends in Russia from my days at CSKA. I'm glad I could give them this present."