The Ivory Coast controls its own destiny as it prepares to finish group play against Greece on Tuesday. With three points after two games, The Elephants need a win or a draw, or Japan to win by a small margin or lose or draw against Colombia, in order to advance to the knockout round for the first time in team history.
To further entice the Ivory Coast players to go for the win, President Alassane Ouattara has given them the incentive of a doubled match bonus for a victory.
Ivory Coast’s players are on a reported €17,900 (roughly $25,000 USD) bonus per man per win in Brazil. On Monday the president of the national assembly, Guillaume Soro, was dispatched to the squad’s training base in Águas de Lindóia with the message: “The president of the republic asked me to tell you that Ivorians are proud of you, he is proud of you. Despite the loss, you were brave against Colombia. He also instructed me to inform you that the bonus match against Greece will be doubled.”
The Elephants finished third in their respective groups at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, losing the all-important second match of the tournament that dug the hole they were unable to escape.
Last Thursday, they again lost their second match, but a win against Japan to open the World Cup coupled with some favorable results has put them on the cusp of advancing to the Round of 16.
With a $50,000 USD bonus ready to be handed out, Ivory Coast's government is confident in a victory.
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