Sports figures invite fans to donate to earthquake victims as rescue work continues

ISTANBUL: The sports world is encouraging fans to provide relief to victims as rescue efforts continue in the wake of earthquakes that have devastated parts of Turkiye, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

MotoGP rider Marc Marquez and Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Charles Leclerc urged fans to donate to victims.

Hamilton, 38, shared donation links on social media of the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Human Appeal — a British-based international development and charity.

“Families, homes, and lives have been destroyed. Posting places to donate and share for all those who wish to help,“ the Mercedes driver wrote on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Ilkay Gundogan, the German footballer of Turkish heritage, sent aid to Turkiye.

The Manchester City star donated two truckloads of bread to areas most affected by the disaster, according to German outlet BILD.

“The encouragement and support we have received so far have been great! We are currently trying to collect more food and material donations like baby food, blankets, hygiene products and warm clothing” said Gundogan.

On the same note, UEFA is also reported helping victims. In coordination with the UEFA Foundation for Children, it made an initial donation of €200,000 (US$213,000) to support the vast humanitarian operation assisting victims in Turkiye and Syria.

“UEFA is also exploring the organisation of additional fund-raising activities during this season’s Champions League Final week, which will take place in Istanbul in June,“ it said.

The European football’s governing body also made a US$160,000 donation to the Turkish Football Federation, while the Foundation committed US$53,000 to the Bonyan Organisation and Tiafi (Team International Assistance for Integration).

UEFA announced that a moment of silence will be observed before kick-off at all club matches next week in respect for victims.

The English Premier League (EPL) also announced donation campaigns aimed at helping Turkiye and Syria.

The League will make a £1 million (US$1,2 million) donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to deliver humanitarian aid directly to those in need.

The EPL added that as a mark of respect to those affected by the quake, players and officials will wear black armbands at matches this weekend. – BERNAMA