THE Nigeria Football Federation has declared all footballers from the country safe in the aftermath of a huge earthquake that devastated Turkey today.
The tremors, some of the worst in recorded history, hit central Turkey today, killing hundreds of people and destroying property.
As at the last count this evening, the death toll had risen to 2,316, with 13,293 injured.
There are several Nigerian players across the tiers of Turkish football, including Super Eagles defender Bright Osayi-Samuel of Fenerbahce, and none of them has been affected, according to the NFF.
“The Nigeria Football Federation is sad about the unfortunate earthquake in Kahramanmaras city of Turkey,” the national governing body tweeted.
“NFF President Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau has reached out to Nigerian players based in Turkey and they have all confirmed that they are fine.
“We pray the souls of the departed rest in peace even as we commiserate with the people of Turkey at this time.”
Meanwhile, emergency workers are still trying to rescue Ghanaian player Christian Atsu, who is believed to be buried underneath the rubble.
The 31-year-old scored his first goal for Hatayspor yesterday in a Super Lig match against Kasimpasa but has not been seen today, along with a club director, with everyone else at the club safe and accounted for.
The magnitude 7.8 quake, which hit early in the morning, was the worst to strike Turkey this century. It was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.
There was another earthquake in Syria, which has already been wrecked by more than 11 years of civil war, with the health ministry saying about 430 people had been killed and more than 1,000 injured. In the Syrian rebel-held northwest, a United Nations spokesperson said 255 people had died.