Fifa on Sunday bemoans New Zealand futsal goalkeeper, Atta Elayyan who passed away in the Mosques attacks. Elayyan was injured in Al Nour mosque shooting on Friday and was announced dead this morning.
ببالغ الأسى علمنا اليوم أن حارس مرمى منتخب نيوزيلندا لكرة الصالات (عطا عليان) قد قضى خلال هجمات كريستشيرش الأليمة. كل تعازينا لعائلة عليان وعوائل الضحايا الذين قضوا في الهجمات.
— FIFA.com – عربي (@fifacom_ar) March 16, 2019
Concise News reports that in a tweet on their official Arabic page, FIFA writes: “with deep sorrow that we learned today that the goalkeeper of New Zealand futsal team, Atta Alian was killed during the tragic attacks in Christchurch. All our condolences to Alian family and the families of the victims who perished in the attacks.”
Atta a Jordanian who has moved to New Zealand with his family in 1992, works in an IT company and is the goalkeeper for New Zealand futsal national team. Atta is married and has left behind a baby girl.
In a statement, New Zealand Football (NZF) says it was deeply saddened to receive the news of Elayyan’s death.
He had played 19 international games for the New Zealand Futsal Whites.
Chief Executive Andrew Pragnell says the death was devastating for those in the football community.
“On behalf of everyone at New Zealand Football our thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has been affected by these heinous acts of violence,” Pragnell states.
“He wasn’t so lucky” – a friend recount death of Atta in Christchurch mosque shootings.
Iraqi man, Ghassan Alaraji, 35, who works as an osteopath in Auckland, speaking to media says he witnessed Elayyan’s death in one of the videos posted online by the gunman, Brenton Harrison Tarrant.
“It showed a young chap running towards the perpetrator trying to tackle him to stop him from shooting,” Alaraji says.
“Just before that happened, the perpetrator shot him. That was my friend Atta.”
He described watching the video as “very saddening”.
Alaraji, who’s travelled from Auckland to show his support to the grieving families, says Olayyan was a kind man, a successful businessman, loving father, and a good husband. He was a member of the Futsal Whites, New Zealand’s national futsal team.
“He was trying to help and protect the others from being shot, but unfortunately he wasn’t so lucky,” Alaraji says.
“He was very, very brave.”
Atta Elayyan is the son of the founder of Al Nour mosque who was also injured in the attack.