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New Zealand futsal international Atta Elayyan among Christchurch terror attack victims

Atta Elayyan, a goalkeeper for New Zealand’s international futsal team was one of the victims of the horrific Christchurch terror attacks, New Zealand football has confirmed.

According to The Independent, fifty people were killed and 50 people were injured in New Zealand’s deadliest attack ever which took place on Friday.
According to BBC Sport, Atta Elayyan was born in Kuwait and had played 19 times for the Futsal Whites. According to The Sun, Elayyan was named as New Zealand’s Futsal Player of the Year in 2014.
The attack has sent shockwaves across the world and it’s truly heartbreaking to see something so devastating happen in this day and age.

New Zealand’s biggest side, Wellington Phoenix paid tribute to Elayyan and all the victims of the attack ahead of their match with the Western Sydney Wanderers, the players and officials formed a huddle:

All of the tributes that have poured in for Elayyan have spoke of the 33-year-old’s kind and humble character, according to New Zealand news website, Stuff, the goalkeeper spent a lot of his time off the pitch coaching young footballers from his old High School.

Ronan Naicker, New Zealand Football’s futsal development officer in Christchurch spoke about the Kuwait-born stopper who he coached for five years:

“He tried to give back to his old school by coaching teams. Even though he didn’t have the time he still found time and he did it all for nothing,” Naicker told Stuff on Sunday.

“He never asked for anything in return. He was a truly exceptional human being.”

Josh Margetts, the Futsal Development Manager at New Zealand, was a team-mate of Elayyan in the Futsal Whites, this is what Margetts had to say on his teammate’s tragic passing, according to the official New Zealand Football website.

“Atta was a great man and well-liked by everyone in the Futsal Whites squad and the futsal community,” said Margetts.

“There are no words to sum up how we are all feeling.”

“There is huge hole in our hearts as we come to terms with the loss of a great person and a good mate. He will be sorely missed.”

Some of Elayyan’s friends took to social media to pay tribute to the humble goalkeeper:

Melbourne Victory’s Kiwi striker Kosta Barbarouses showed his class when he honoured the victims of the attack with a touching goal celebration:

We’d also like to take this opportunity to commend everyone involved with New Zealand Football and all of the nation’s teams for how they’ve reacted to the tragedy, they can be immensely proud with the respect they’ve shown to victims of the attacks.

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of everybody who has been affected by this horrific tragedy.

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