Earthquake kills goalkeeper as ISF cancels 2023 Winter Gymnasiade

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The International School Sport Federation (ISF) has decided to cancel the 2023 Winter Gymnasiade after the deadly earthquake that hit Turkey.

According to multiple reports, 5,434 people have been killed in Turkey so far after the earthquake.

Yesterday, the Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu suspended all sports activities in the country until further notice.

Now, the ISF have announced that the Winter Gymnasiade, scheduled to be held from February 11 to 19 in Erzurum, has been cancelled.

“Due to the ‘force majeure’ situation, we are announcing the cancellation of the ISF Winter Gymnasiade 2023 scheduled from the 11th to 19th February in Erzurum,” an ISF statement read.

“On behalf of the whole ISF family, we would like to express our deepest sympathies for the people of Türkiye during this difficult time.

“Our thoughts and our support are with the victims, their families and all the people of Türkiye recovering from this traumatic event.

“The ISF, wishes to express its full solidarity with the Turkish people and hopes that they will be able to overcome this difficult ordeal with great patience, determination and courage.”

Elsewhere, TFF First League club Yeni Malatyaspor has announced that their goalkeeper Ahmet Eyüp Türkaslan, who was among those under the rubble yesterday, has died. “Our goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyüp Türkaslan, lost his life after being under the collapse of the earthquake,” Yeni Malatyaspor wrote on Twitter.

“Rest in peace.

“We will not forget you, beautiful person.”

Meanwhile, EuroLeague, widely recognised as the top basketball league in the continent, has suspended several fixtures in Turkey.

Two fixtures – Anadolu Efes against Real Madrid and Fenerbahce Beko versus Olimpia Milano – set to be played on February 9 and 10 respectively, has been put on hold.

A EuroCup basketball league between Bursaspor Basketbol and JL Bourg-en-Bresse, scheduled to be played tomorrow has also been suspended.

Yesterday, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach promised to support the affected communities noting that the situation is “tragic” as some of the victims were young athletes.