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Blokhin says Ukraine's $8m bonus is deserved

Written by: Staff

POTSDAM, Germany, June 28 (Reuters) Ukraine's players will receive a shared million bonus for reaching the World Cup quarter-finals and coach Oleg Blokhin said today hard work should always be well rewarded.

''Do you think they should just play for a 'thank you'?'' Blokhin asked reporters.

''For good work you receive good money. If the players had been playing badly, they wouldn't have got a penny.'' Ukraine, making their debut at the tournament, face Italy on Friday after beating Switzerland 3-0 on penalties in the second round on Monday.

They have surpassed their pre-tournament aim of reaching the knockout stage so anything else is quite literally a bonus.

Blokhin stressed that money was not the main motivation for the players, but rather national pride.

''They are playing for national honour ... it is also work,'' he said. ''I told them that the players in this team will play first of all for prestige and not the money.'' Friday's game in Hamburg kicks off at 1900 GMT and the winner will face either Germany or Argentina.

Reuters SK VP0105

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