The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has said all Nigerian players in Turkey are safe, following the devastating earthquake that rocked the southern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras on Monday.
The NFF made this known in an Instagram post on Monday evening, just as the football body expressed sadness over the incident and condoled with the victims.
“The Nigeria Football Federation is sad about the unfortunate earthquake in Kahramanmaras city of Turkey. NFF President, Alh. Ibrahim Gusau has reached out to Nigerian players based in Turkey and they have all confirmed that they are fine. We pray the souls of the departed rest in peace even as we commiserate with the people of Turkey at this time,” the NFF said.
In another news, a Ghanaian football player, Christian Atsu, was among those still trapped under the rubble after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocked Gaziantep in southern Turkey.
The former Chelsea and Newcastle star joined Turkey club Hataysport last summer.
Along with Atsu, the Sporting Director of Hatayspor, Taner Savut, also remains missing under rubble at their respective homes.
According to Aljazeera, the initial quake was followed by a series of aftershocks and then a 7.5-magnitude quake in the afternoon which drove the death toll to over 2,000 people with dozens of buildings destroyed.
Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority confirmed that the earthquake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time, in what has been described as the country’s most seismic occurrence in years.
Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said Nigeria is willing to support Turkey and Syria “in any way possible,” as he also commiserated with the governments and people of Turkey and Syria, and those who lost family and friends in the devastating earthquake.