MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti)
Russia and CSKA Moscow defender Sergei Ignashevich insisted Saturday that money was not a motivating factor at Euro 2012, after reports the team had requested huge victory bonuses.
The country suffered a humiliating group stage exit after a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic, a 1-1 draw with co-host Ukraine and a shock 1-0 defeat to Greece.
Public discontent was further fueled by reports that the team had asked for big cash incentives for winning, calling into question the players' motivation.
"People come to the national team not to earn money," Ignashevich said on his website. "If there had been no bonuses, it would change nothing, we would be playing for free," he added.
He declined to disclose the bonus amounts, however, that some reports put at €800,000 to be shared among the team.
"As for the figures, it would be silly from my part to discuss them in public."
He suggested the bonuses were not as high as the figures reported, however.
"We can't demand money from the RFS," Ignashevich wrote. "We just asked for the bonus to be distributed equally among all the 23 squad members. We also asked for a certain percentage of awards for the team staff."
Ignashevich, 32, has scored five times in 78 appearances for Russia since debuting in 2002 and has made 220 appearances for CSKA.
He has won two Russian titles and the 2005 UEFA Cup while at CSKA, where he is under contract until July 2014.
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