Turkey Earthquake Threatens to Upset Banyana Banyana's 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Preparations
- It remains to be seen how far-reaching the disastrous earthquake which struck Turkey will be
- South Africa's senior women's national team could be affected by the tragedy that is unfolding in the Middle Eastern country
- Banyana Banyana were meant to partake in a mini-football tournament there as part of preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup
The Turkish Women's Cup might not take place following the devastating earthquake which struck the country as well as neighbouring Syria.
Well over 1 000 people have been killed, with more casualties expected and many others still missing in the rubble. The fallout could result in the tournament, in which Banyana Banyana is taking part, being called off.
As per SowetanLIVE, South Africa had been locked in to play the hosts on the 15th of February, Uzbekistan (18th) and Venezuela on the 21st. The tournament is set to take place at the Goldcity Sport Complex in Kargicak, in the Mersin Province south of the country.
When asked about this, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis responded:
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"We are in contact with the embassy as well as the local organisers. We can only continue with our preparations until we’re told otherwise; we’ll continue with that and get ready for the Turkish Cup.
"We are in contact with the embassy as well as the local organisers. We can only continue with our preparations until we’re told otherwise; we’ll continue with that and get ready for the Turkish Cup."
Christian Atsu pulled from earthquake wreckage
Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu has reportedly been found alive after hours of being buried under rubble following the earthquake that hit Turkey.
The 31-year-old went missing after disaster struck the city of Hatya on Monday morning, just hours after he scored the winner in Hatayaspor's game against Kasimpasa. The winger and the club's Sporting Director Taner Savut were trapped under massive wreckage after the building they were living in collapsed.
According to reports coming in on Tuesday morning, the ex-Chelsea and Newcastle player has been found alive.
World sympathises with Turkey
A powerful earthquake struck south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, killing more than 1,000 people while trapping many.
Leaders across the globe have pledged to send aid after Turkey issued an international appeal for assistance following the earthquake.
Aside from that, the football community have poured out their heartfelt condolence to the affected victims.