Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies says he will donate his World Cup earnings to charity.
“Canada welcomed me and my family and gave us the opportunity for a better life,” Davies said in a social media post Tuesday. ‘It enabled me to live my dreams. It’s a great honour to play for Canada and I want to give back, so I’ve decided that I will donate this years World Cup earnings to charity.”
The 21-year-old Bayern Munich fullback was born in a Ghanaian refugee camp after his parents fled the civil war in Liberia. The family came to Canada when Davies was five, eventually settling in Edmonton.
Just how much Davies’ take of Canada’s proceeds from the World Cup, which kicks off Nov. 21 in Qatar, will be has yet to be determined.
Canada Soccer and the men’s national team continue compensation negotiations, dissatisfaction over which caused the players to boycott a planned friendly against Panama in June in Vancouver. They reportedly were asking for an after-tax payment equivalent to 40 per cent of the expected eight-figure payout.
At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA provided a total of US$791 million to the 32 participating teams, up 40 per cent compared to the 2014 tournament.
Of that, US$400 million was paid out as prize money, ranging from US$38 million to the winner, US$28 million to the runner-up and US$24 million to the third-place team to US$8 million to each of the teams eliminated at the group stage.
Each qualified team also received US$1.5 million to cover preparation costs, meaning all teams were guaranteed at least US$9.5 million each for their participation in the 2018 World Cup.
Qatar marks only Canada’s second trip to the men’s World Cup, following the 1986 tournament in Mexico where Canada exited after losses to France, Hungary and the Soviet Union.
Davies has quickly become the face of the Canadian team, currently ranked fourth in CONCACAF at No. 43 in the world rankings. With a record of 8-2-4, the Canadian men turned heads by topping the final round of World Cup qualifying in the region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Davies, who has 12 goals and 15 assists in 32 appearances for Canada, was sidelined earlier this year after developing symptoms of myocarditis, a mild heart condition, following a bout of COVID-19. The illness kept him out of Canada’s final six World Cup qualifying matches.
Davies returned to action in early April and was named CONCACAF men’s player of the year in 2021 that same month.
The young Canadian signed a contract extension with Bayern in April 2020 that will keep him at the German powerhouse for another two years through June 2025.
Davies has already won the UEFA Champions League (2020), German league title (2019, ’20 and ’21), DFB Cup (2019 and ’20) DFL Supercup (2020, ’21 and ’22), UEFA Supercup (2020) and FIFA Club World Cup (2020) with Bayern.
Davies was signed by Bayern from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the summer of 2018 in a US$22-million transfer deal, an MLS record at the time. He started to train with Bayern that November after the end of the Whitecaps season.
Davies shared his story of coming to Canada at the FIFA Congress in Moscow in June 2018 as part of the joint North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Canadian soccer officials credit his powerful presentation for helping push the bid over the finish line.
In March 2021, Davies became a global goodwill ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press