TFF cancels matches in mourning for Soma victims

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- The sports world has canceled a number of matches in recognition of an estimated 230 miners who died in a deadly explosion in Manisa’s Soma district on Tuesday, an incident that has been labeled as the nation’s worst mining disaster.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) canceled matches scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in an official statement posted on the TFF’s website on Wednesday.

“With regard for the mine tragedy that has drowned the country in grief, a 3-day-long national mourning period has been declared. Soccer matches scheduled for May 14-15 and all amateur and professional league competitions will be delayed,” the statement said, adding that the canceled soccer matches and competitions would be rescheduled for May 16-18.

The statement also said that music will not be broadcast before the competitions and matches the referees and players will appear on field wearing black bands in a show of solidarity. After the match, they will hold a one-minute moment of silence for the Soma disaster victims.

The TFF sent their condolences to Turkish people in the statement as follows: “We have learned with great sadness that a large number of coal miners died in a mine explosion in Soma and that many of our citizens are still trapped in the mine. We deliver our condolences to the families of those killed in the incident and ask for God’s mercy upon their souls. We hope for the that those who are still trapped in the mind will be rescued and return to safety.”

National soccer teams Fenerbahe, Galatasaray, BeIiktaI, KasImpaIa, Bursaspor and Trabzonspor also delivered their condolences to the families of the deceased coal miners.

Liverpool Football Club has also published a statement of condolences on the club’s Facebook page as follows: “Liverpool FC would like to send our sympathy and condolences to the people of Turkey after the terrible losses of life in the Soma mining disaster. The thoughts of all at LFC are with everyone affected.” Chelsea Football Club also delivered its condolences for Turkey via its Twitter account, writing, “Our thoughts are with everybody in Turkey at this time, particularly those affected in Manisa.”

“Thoughts and sympathies to all who have suffered as a result of the mining disaster in Turkey, homeland of our director, Selahettin Baki,” wrote Sheffield United in a condolence statement to Turkey. German Bundesliga Schalke 04 followed suit.

The Turkish Basketball League (TBL) has also announced the cancellation of basketball matches until May 17.


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