The Myanmar Under-22 football team is believed to have received a US$50,000 or S$68,250 bonus after winning the SEA Games opener against Singapore’s Young Lions on Monday.
The team which won a victory of 2-0 was rewarded handsomely by KBZ Bank, which gave the team US$30,000, and Myanmar Football Federation president U Zaw Zaw and former Yangon United chairman U Tay Za who contributed US$10,000 each.
The practice of rewarding teams or players with bonuses is not uncommon, according to former Singapore national coach P N Sivaji, who is now technical director of Myanmar National League side Hanthawaddy United. He said that there are “quite a few” patrons and well-wishers who come forward willingly to support and reward the teams.
The Young Lions, themselves, were reportedly offered $2000 each to beat Myanmar at the opener. The national team, which was expected to be offered a bigger bonus in their second match, has since lost 1-2 to Malaysia in last night’s game and needs to win big in their upcoming matches against Laos and Brunei.
Malaysia’s victory against Singapore was its second straight win in the SEA Games this year while Myanmar celebrated a 3-1 victory against Laos yesterday.
It looks unlikely, at this point, that the Lions will move forward to the semi-finals unless Myanmar or Malaysia lose their remaining matches.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Johor gave RM4 million or S$1.27m to the Football Association of Malaysia last month when the Association’s Under-22 side qualified for the AFC U-23 Championship for the first time. The players, who were initially promised RM6000, may look forward to a bigger cash bonus as they rack up victories.