Football fans throw stuffed toys onto pitch for earthquake victims
Thousands of donations were made.
Play was stopped during Besiktas' game against Antalyaspor on Sunday as fans threw thousands of stuffed toys onto the pitch to donate to children affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
The game was paused after four minutes and 17 seconds, the same time that the first earthquake struck Turkey and Syria (04:17am) on February 6. Fans then proceeded to throw stuffed toys from the stands onto the pitch. A statement from the club said that "the fans threw scarves, berets and plush toys to be given as a gift to the children in the earthquake region."
They added: "Our fans organised a meaningful event called 'This toy is my friend' during the match in order to give morale to the children affected by the earthquake."
Fans of Besiktas and Antalyaspor threw stuffed toys onto the pitch when the clock was at 04:17 as a sign of solidarity for children affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria ❤️pic.twitter.com/tPRWv1cr0K
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) February 27, 2023
More than 50,000 people are said to have died following the earthquakes. Besiktas players warmed up in tops with the names of the southern cities affected by the earthquake in Turkey before a pre-match ceremony in which fans applauded the search and rescue officers present at the Vodafone Stadium.
Defender Tayyib Sanuc added: "There are more important things than football. We are going through difficult times as a country. Together we will heal the wounds. Our fans held a meaningful event - I was very touched. I hope we never experience such a disaster again."
Two clubs - Gaziantep and Hatayspor - have both have withdrawn from the Turkish Super Lig as a result of the earthquakes. Hatayspor opted to withdraw after midfielder Christian Atsu was among the victims.