Christchurch shootings – NZ international futsal star Atta Elayyan among terror victims
NEW ZEALAND'S international futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan was among the victims of the horrific mosque shootings, it has been confirmed.
Elayyan, born in Kuwait, was one of 50 people who lost their lives after gunman Brenton Tarrant opened fire at two mosques on Friday, leaving another 50 injured.
The 33-year-old represented his country 19 times and he tragically leaves behind his wife Farah and young daughter Aya.
Josh Margetts, the Futsal Development Manager at New Zealand Football and close friend said: "Atta was a great man and well-liked by everyone in the Futsal Whites squad and the futsal community,
"There are no words to sum up how we are all feeling. There is huge hole in our hearts as we come to terms with the loss of a great person and a good mate. He will be sorely missed.
"To Atta's family, we are deeply sorry for your loss. We can't imagine what you are going through, but please know we love you and we are here for you during this incredibly difficult time."
I can't believe it. That they would take you. 1 of the best. Dedicated Muslim. Friendly Kiwi. Proud Father, wife. Successful app developer. International futsal player for New Zealand.
You're everything that New Zealand stands for and we must respond in the same way. pic.twitter.com/qXVoLcAobP
My Heart is broken, a role model to myself and so many in the futsal community, a loving KIWI father, husband, friend and futsal player. You won’t ever meet a more down to earth, humbling person. May you Rest In Peace my friend @attaelayyan 🙏🏻❤️ #ChristchurchTerrorAttack pic.twitter.com/r631Ly0iPz
Shattered to hear of the passing of my futsal friend and talented futsal NZ national team goalkeeper Atta Elayyan from yesterday’s horrific attack! Rip young Man
NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell added: "My heart goes out to the futsal community,
"They are a very tight-knit group and this news of Atta's death will be devastating for all involved in the game. We feel their pain and their grief."
His team-mates were among those to attend a memorial at Deans Avenue mosque on Sunday where they laid flowers and grieved the devastating loss.
In 2014, Elayyan was crowned New Zealand Football futsal player of the year.
New Zealand's third cricket Test against Bangladesh, due to take place in Christchurch yesterday, was cancelled.
Bangladesh's players were just "minutes" away from the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting started.
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