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 April 23, 2002 | 1115 IST

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Russians offered cash and cars for World Cup wins

A Russian oil company has offered the Russia World Cup team a new sports car for every victory they notch up at this year's finals.

The Tyumen Oil Company said on Monday that it will give a new Porsche 911 to the Russian man-of-the-match in each game they win.

The company said it had optimistically earmarked seven cars in total, in case Russia won all their games including the final.

"If our players ever needed an extra incentive to do well at the World Cup, this must be it," said Alexander Tukmanov, executive director of the Russian Football Union (RFU).

The Porsche's are valued at around $70,000 each, while the man-of-the-match will be selected by a fan ballot.

Marat Izmailov, one of several Russian internationals to attend Monday's presentation, was impressed.

"I really like this car," said the 19-year-old Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder, who does not have a car, after getting behind the wheel of the new Porsche.


The new car offer came on top of large cash bonuses announced by RFU president Vyacheslav Koloskov on Monday, which could net the team more than $1.2 million for winning the World Cup.

"The ultimate goal for us, of course, is to win the gold medals," Koloskov told a news conference earlier in the day.

"However, the more realistic goal is to make the top eight, while the minimum task is to reach the second round," he said.

"It has been agreed that if we reach the second round, the players will get 50 percent of the team's total bonus.

"If we don't make the second round, the players will still earn 30 percent of the sum for reaching the World Cup finals."

Koloskov said that Russia are guaranteed at least $909,000 -- $303,000 for each of their three first round matches at the at the 32-team tournament in Japan and South Korea.

If Russian reach the second round, the players would stand to make more than $600,000, while winning the World Cup will yield them a $1,212,000 bonus.

Russia have been drawn in group H along with co-hosts Japan, Belgium and Tunisia.

"We have a good chance to reach the second round because our group has no real favourites or outsiders," added Koloskov.

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