New Zealand Football has been plunged into mourning following the death of a national star, Atta Elyyan.
The New Zealand Football Federation (NZF) has confirmed that the country's national team player Elayyan was among the victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch on Friday, March 15, 2019.
Elayyan was praying at Masjid Al Noor Mosque, next to Hagley Park, where he was among 50 victims of the shooting.
"It is still hard to comprehend what happened in Christchurch on Friday afternoon," NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell said in a statement.
"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.
"My heart goes out to the futsal community. 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."
Elayyan's Futsal White teammate Josh Margetts offered support to the deceased player's family, while remembering a 'great man' who will be 'sorely missed'.
Margetts said, who is also a Futsal Development Manager at Football New Zealand eulogized Elayyan, stressing that the deceased was great man and well-liked by everyone.
"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.
The 33-year-old shot stopper, had made 19 as a goalkeeper for the Futsal Whites and turned out for Mainland Futsal at domestic level.
I don't do secular music. I do good music with good themes: Kuami Eugene - Star Gist| #Yencomgh:
Have national and human-interest issues to discuss? Know someone who is extremely talented and needs recognition?
Your stories and photos are always welcome. Get interactive via our Facebook page