After Istanbul nightclub attack, footballers say they are ‘happy to stay’

Galatasaray's Wesley Sneijder and Hakan Balta leave the field at the end of the match. (File photo: Reuters)

After the attack on an elite nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39 people on new year’s day, international footballers have emphasized that despite the attack, they feel safe in Turkey.

The mother of Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder who plays for Turkey’s Galatasaray football club has said: “My son and daughter-in-law Yolanthe used to often go to that night club. I'm very worried. I told them to leave Istanbul. But my son said he is happy and won't leave,” Turkish daily Sabah reported.

Sneider previously said “I feel like I am a Turk” after a charity match on Dec. 22 for the benefit of terror victms. The football star and his wife have been living in Istanbul for four years and their first child was born in Turkey.

Meanwhile, other athletes gave support to Turkey.

Italian star Luigi Datome of Fenerbahce Ulker’s basketball team said: “I will continue to travel in Turkey as long as I find the opportunity. Turkey is a very beautiful country.”

Another footballer from the Turkish team, Fenerbahce, Brazilian Josef de Souza said: “I am happy in Istanbul…Turkish people are continuing their lives without fear despite the terror attacks.”

While Besiktas’s former star striker Pascal Nouma said: “Terrorism not only hit Istanbul but also it hit the world. Their target is to spread fear worldwide.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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