Sports world joins forces to help victims of Soma mine disaster

Sports world joins forces to help victims of Soma mine disaster

Sports world joins forces to help victims of Soma mine disaster

Beşiktaş players observe a minute of silence ahead of the team’s practice session to pay respect to the miners killed in an explosion May 13 in Soma. Beşiktaş will donate the revenues from its next match to the victims’ families. HÜRRİYET photo HÜRRİYET photo

The football world has shared the grief of the families of the May 13 mine disaster victims in western Turkey, with local media speculating that Atletico Madrid may express respect for the fallen miners with a special t-shirt during its crucial La Liga match against Barcelona on Saturday.

“We join the grief of the victims’ families of Soma’s mining accident in Turkey. Our support to all the Turkish people,” Atletico Madrid said via its official Twitter account.

The club also said in a message posted on its official website that star forward Arda Turan looked “very upset” during the team’s latest training session.  

Turkish news portals published a photo of a t-shirt with the Atletico Madrid crest alongside text reading “#soma,” speculating that the team would wear it before the weekend’s match against Barcelona, which is set to determine the winner of the Spanish title.  

Liverpool, Porto, Schalke and Barcelona joined the list of foreign clubs expressing sorrow about the mining accident.

Turkey’s Beşiktaş has announced that it will donate the revenues of its next home game to the families of the victims. Beşiktaş is scheduled to play against Gençlerbirliği on Saturday, still harboring slim hopes of qualifying for next year’s Champions League.

A group of Galatasaray directors, including club President Ünal Aysal, visited Soma to lend support, while the team’s coach Roberto Mancini, players and technical staff released a message on the club’s official website. The club said it would donate the revenues from an upcoming friendly game to the victims’ families.

Meanwhile, this year’s Turkish title winner, Fenerbahçe, has stopped broadcasting clips celebrating the championship win on its official television station.

Sports journalists are also set to contribute to the campaign by paying 20 liras for their accredited free seats.

Many players in Turkey, including international athletes such as Didier Drogba, Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder, Mesut Özdil and former Colombian goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba extended their condolences with messages on social media.

Former Brazilian star Roberto Carlos, who coaches Turkey’s Sivasspor, released a photo of himself with a placard reading, “To those spend a life for a fist full of coal.”

Basketball’s Euroleague also joined in extending its condolences.

“To honor the victims and to extend best wishes for the recovery of the injured, Euroleague Basketball has mandated a minute of silence before each semifinal game on Friday, the opening day of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Milan, Italy,” a statement on the league’s official website read.

“Euroleague Basketball hopes for a successful outcome from the ongoing rescue effort and wishes a speedy recovery to those miners who fortunately survived the fire,” it added.

Turkey’s basketball federation has also cancelled all games until Saturday.