Billionaire Ex-PM Pledges £8.4m Gift to Georgia Football Squad

Bidzina Ivanishvili Euro 2024 donation

Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s former prime minister, has promised an £8.4m donation to the national football team after their historic 2-0 win over Portugal at Euro 2024. The victory, which took place in Gelsenkirchen, has earned Georgia a spot in the last-16 stage against Spain.

Ivanishvili, who founded the ruling Georgian Dream party and served as prime minister in 2012, called the win a “historic and dream victory.” The 68-year-old billionaire, whose fortune is estimated at £3.87bn by Forbes, has pledged an additional £8.4m (30 million Georgian Lari) if Georgia triumphs over Spain.

Despite stepping down as prime minister after a year, Ivanishvili retains influence as the honorary chairman of the Georgian Dream party. His donations will come from his charitable foundation.

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In April, many of Georgia’s Euro 2024 squad voiced opposition to the Georgian Dream party following the announcement of a controversial “foreign agents” law, which was passed in June. This law sparked significant protests in Georgia, with critics claiming it threatened civil liberties.

Georgia, competing in the European Championship for the first time, will face Spain in Cologne on Sunday at 8pm BST.

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