(AFP) – Oct 5, 2012
ZAGREB — In a bid to fill empty stands, players for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have pooled their cash to reward one fan attemding their Champions League match against French side Paris Saint Germain with one million kunas (134,000 euros, $174,000).
The idea was launched by young midfielder Mateo Kovacic who posted a video, "One Million for a Full Stadium", on his Facebook page, in which he explains the idea to his teammates.
"Dear fans ... we are sad that you did not come to the stadium but I think that you will come now," the 18-year-old Kovacic says directly into the camera. He then takes the camera into the locker room to ask his teammates what they think ofthe plan.
"Whatever you say, if only it will fill the stadium," defender Josip Simunic says.
"It's really bad to play in front of empty stands. This (the reward) is fine. No problem," echoes midfielder Sammir while holding a mobile phone.
At a press conference on Friday, the players said the amount of the reward would actually depend on the number of fans who will attend the match against PSG on October 24.
One million kunas will be handed out if more than 25,000 fans show up, they said.
For 15,000 fans the reward would amount to some 20,000 euros while for 5,000 fans it drops drastically to some 650 euros.
"First we have to see how many fans there will be, and later we will agree between ourselves on the amount that will be given by each of us," captain Ivan Kelava told reporters.
At half time five possible winners will be chosen by randomly selecting the barcode of a ticket used to attend the match, but it is not yet clear how the overall winner will be determined, Dinamo said.
Dinamo Zagreb's first match against FC Porto at home, which they lost 2-0, was attended by only a few thousand people.
Local media blamed the poor attendance on expensive tickets but also a fan boycott of the club's leadership. The Maksimir stadium can accommodate some 40,000 people.
After two matches Dinamo Zagreb are at the bottom of their Champions League Group A with 0 points.
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