Atta Elayyan: An inspiring goalkeeper who died in New Zealand mosque shooting

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 19, 2019, 03.31 PM(IST)

A photograph of New Zealand futsal player Atta Elayyan, victim of the Christchurch mosque attacks. Photograph:( AFP )

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New Zealand futsal paid tribute to Elayyan laying flowers by the Deans Avenue mosque, where he was killed. 

Futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan was among those who lost their lives in New Zealand's Christchurch mosque shooting

The New Zealanders mourn those killed in horrifying gun attacks on two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people on March 15. 

The Kuwait-born Elayyan, who was a devout Muslim, offered his last prayer before he was shot at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque, where is used to go regularly. 

New Zealand futsal players and management paid tribute to Elayyan laying flowers by the Deans Avenue mosque, where he was killed. 

He is survived by wife Farah and young daughter Aya. 

In week's time, Elayyan was set to coach his Christchurch Boys' High School futsal team at the secondary school nationals. 

The 33-year-old goalkeeper had played 19 A Internationals for the Futsal Whites, according to NZ Football. 

Teammate Josh Margetts said, "There is a huge hole in our hearts as we come to terms with the loss of a great person and a good mate."

Elayyan passed on his goalkeeping wisdom to many young futsal players and inspired them to take up the sport. 

He was popular for his approachable personality and always helped others. 


After New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern described the Christchurch mosque assault as a "well-planned terror attack", police commissioner Mike Bush said one man was charged on Friday. 

"One person, a male in his late 20s, has been charged with murder, and should appear in the Christchurch Court tomorrow morning," said New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had said that attacker was a "right-wing extremist with Australian citizenship".

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