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European, Saudi football stars in Turkey but safe

Meanwhile a children’s football team from Singapore is stranded in Antalya's Airport

Published: Updated:

Barcelona issued a statement on Saturday reassuring fans of the safety of Arda Turan, Carles Puyol, Deco and Eric Abidal who were in Turkey during Friday’s failed military coup.

“Barcelona players Andres Iniesta and Leo Messi, who were to play a friendly match in Turkey, organized by the ex-Blaugrana Samuel Eto’o, did not travel to Turkey and are in Spain,” the club’s official Twitter account tweeted.

“Barcelona player Arda Turan and former players Carles Puyol, Deco and Eric Abidal, as well as the former director Alejandro Echevarria, are in Turkish territory but far from the danger zone and in permanent contact with the club.”

Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta were also due to fly to Turkey for a charity march organized by their former teammate Samuel Eto’o, now of Super Lig club Antalyaspor, but neither travelled as a night of explosions, fatalities and gunfire ensued.
French club Lyon were awaiting a flight home from Istanbul on Saturday after their friendly with Fenerbahce was cancelled because of the coup attempt.

Lyon arrived Friday for a match scheduled for Saturday night and even managed a light training session late in the evening at Fenerbahce's stadium in Istanbul.

"The players are in no danger at all," club president Jean Michel Aulas said via Twitter early Saturday while the club also tweeted a photo of the team arriving at the airport.
"The players have been resting peacefully in their hotel rooms and after lunch they set off for the airport for a flight at 1600 local time," Lyon said on their official website.

Also many Saudi clubs reached out on their twitter accounts to reassure their fans their training camps in Turkey were ongoing and that all teams members were safe. The clubs are Al-Faisali, Al-Khalij, Al Qadissiya and Ahli Jaddah.

Meanwhile a children’s football team from Singapore’s F-17 Academy is stranded in Turkey’s Antalya Airport after its flight to Istanbul was diverted, according to various Singaporean news outlets. The group of 21 were on their way to the Gothia Cup in Sweden.