Mesut Ozil denies giving bonus to children of Gaza but Arsenal star confirms he is funding surgeries for sick Brazilian children

Ozil had reportedly pledged to give his money to young children in Gaza but the World Cup winner took to his Facebook page to clarify the situation

Mesut Özil has not given his World Cup bonus money to the children of Gaza despite reports claiming the World Cup winner had, after the Germany international cleared up the rumours by revealing he was funding sick children in Brazil to undergo surgery.

Özil was part of the Germany side that defeated Argentina in the World Cup final thanks to Mario Götze’s extra-time winner, handing the Germans their fourth World Cup success in their history.

Reports emerged that following the victory and the high-profile celebrations which included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and singer Rihanna, Özil had pledged to give his bonus to those children currently suffering in Gaza due to the on-going turmoil between Hamas and Israel.

However, when The Independent spoke to Özil’s representative, he confirmed that the Arsenal star had not donated his money to them, and has been giving money to 11 sick children in Brazil to undergo surgery. The 25-year-old would then take to his Facebook page to clear up the confusion, and reveal that he would use the bonus money to help fund more operations, with plans to take that number to 23 to replicate the number of players in the victorious Germany squad.

Video: Germany win fourth World Cup

“The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true,” said the midfielder's representative Roland Eitel.

“Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday.”

Read more: Ozil and Gotze go selfie crazy
Germany fans celebrate World Cup success
Germany could rule the world for years to come

Ozil added a picture on his official Facebook profile showing him with four children holding a large football boot and kitted out in the Germany strip, along with the message:

“Dear fans,

“Prior to the ‪#‎WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. Since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. This is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. ‪#‎Bigshoe ‪#‎Brasil2014”

The move has been widely praised in the football world given that a number of footballers are often caught up in controversy and slated for their actions. Özil’s gesture, both kind and thoughtful, is a reminder that actions as small as helping sick children makes a big difference for those involved, and perhaps the Germany international can act as an example to his team-mate Jack Wilshere.

 

The England midfielder, who did not enjoy the best of World Cup campaigns along with the rest of the Three Lions’ squad, was caught up in a second smoking controversy in nine months after he was pictured in Las Vegas smoking and drinking in a swimming pool, with international team-mates Joe Hart and James Milner also in attendance.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions