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Oceania mourns futsal star

Futsal Whites goalkeeper Atta Elayyan. Credit: OFC via Phototek

The Oceania Football Confederation joins New Zealand Football and the global futsal community in mourning New Zealand international futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan.

The 33-year-old Futsal White, who played 19 A Internationals, is one of the victims of the terror attack in Christchurch on Friday afternoon.

Oceania Football Confederation General Secretary Franck Castillo said the attack was a tragedy of the highest order.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this devastating act of violence, and especially to the family and friends of Atta.

“The staff at OFC who had the fortune of crossing paths with him have spoken of an unbridled passion for futsal and for representing New Zealand.

“He will be sorely missed by so many, as is already so evident in the many messages of condolences from across the world.”

OFC Futsal Development Officer Paul Toohey recalls a selfless man who always had time for friends, family, teammates and young up-and-coming players.

“It’s hard to find the rights words at this time, but I would like to send our condolences and love to Atta’s family and friends.

“Atta was everything a team could want – an outstanding performer who was dedicated to his goalkeeping craft  – but also a great friend and leader among his team mates at Canterbury United Dragons and the Futsal Whites.

“He always excelled in OFC tournaments and formed a formidable goalkeeping partnership with his friend Elias Billeh.”

The Kuwait-born Elayyan leaves behind his wife Farah and young daughter Aya. If you would like to make a donation to help Atta Elayyan’s family, his Futsal Whites teammate and friend Elias Billeh has set up a Give a Little page here: bit.ly/2CrtalQ

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