NEW ZEALAND’S international futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan was among the victims of the horrific mosque shootings, it has been confirmed.
Elayyan, born in Kuwait, was one of 50 people who lost their lives after gunman Brenton Tarrant opened fire on two mosques on fiday.
The 33-year-old represented his country 19 times and he tragically leaves behind his wife Farah and young daughter Aya.
Josh Margetts, the Futsal Development Manager at New Zealand Football and close friend said: “Atta was a great man and well-liked by everyone in the Futsal Whites squad and the futsal community,
“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.
“To Atta’s family, we are deeply sorry for your loss. We can’t imagine what you are going through, but please know we love you and we are here for you during this incredibly difficult time.”
“They are a very tight-knit group and this news of Atta’s death will be devastating for all involved in the game. We feel their pain and their grief.”
His team-mates were among those to attend a memorial at Deans Avenue mosque on Sunday where they laid flowers and grieved the devastating loss.
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In 2014, Elayyan was crowned New Zealand Football futsal player of the year.