A fan of Brazilian soccer club Internacional has given his team a no-strings-attached sum of almost $A240,000 in what appears to be a gift to ensure one of their top players can feature in a potentially decisive league match.
“Internacional this Friday received a one million real ($A236,338) donation from Elusmar Maggi Scheffer,” the club, known as the Colorado, or the Reds, said in a statement.
“The Colorado fan … signed an agreement that gives the club the money with no strings attached. Our sincerest thanks.”
Although a spokesman for Internacional refused to say what the money would be used for, he acknowledged the two clubs have an agreement that stops on-loan defender Rodinei from playing for Internacional against his parent-club Flamengo unless the Porto Alegre side pay one million reais.
Brazilian media said the money would ensure Rodinei’s participation and identified Maggi Scheffer as a wealthy farmer from the country’s centre-west region.
The 29-year old right back joined Inter from Flamengo on loan last year and has been a regular starter in their successful 2020/21 campaign.
Inter are currently top of Brazil’s Serie A table, one point ahead of Flamengo, with two games to go.
The two sides meet on Sunday at the Maracana stadium and a win for Inter would secure their first title since 1979.