German Muslim Footballer Özil Denies Donating Money to Gaza, Gives Money to Sick Children in Brazil

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 18, 2014 1:45 PM EST

Contrary to a rumour, Mesut Özil - a practising Muslim - is not going to donate money to Gaza. The Arsenal footballer who has just won the FIFA World Cup 2014 for his country is, as a matter of fact, going to donate the bonus money for Brazilian children. Özil was a major part of the Germany team which defeated Argentina to become the football world champion. Earlier, it was rumoured that Özil would donate his money for children in Gaza.

REUTERS/Darren Staples
Germany's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring their second goal during extra time in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Algeria at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 30, 2014.

The Algerian national football team, on the other hand, has showed open support about the Gaza conflict. The pro-Palestinian team is going to donate the entire money it got from the World Cup to the people in Gaza. Algeria earlier flaunted the Palestinian flag on the team bus. According to Islam Slimani - the star striker of the team, the team is going to donate £5.25 million for the people in Gaza. Slimani said that those people would need the money more than the team.

There were reports earlier that Özil was interested in donating his money to Palestinian people. However, his representative Roland Eitel made it clear to The Independent that his money was going to 11 Brazilian children who would require surgery to get well. Özil clarified his stance on his Facebook page as well that his money would be used to help people go through surgeries. He apparently has plans to help 23 people with his money to represent the number of players in the world champion German team.

Eitel, on the other hand, incited further speculation as he said that Özil might consider donating money for the people of Gaza in future. "Maybe in the future, who knows?" he said.

Özil is a practising Muslim. He reads the Quran before every match. However, he is apparently not willing to commit himself yet to a so-called Muslim issue. He seems to be more concerned about helping the destitute without being political or religious about it.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Darren Staples / )
Germany's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring their second goal during extra time in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Algeria at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 30, 2014.
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