- Thousands of fans donated soft toys to children affected by the earthquake in Turkey on Sunday night.
- The game was stopped at 4:17 when the earthquake hit to allow thousands of fans to throw their toys onto the field.
- More than 44,000 people have died in the country since the earthquakes, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
Just four minutes and 17 seconds into a national league football game in Turkey, it was stopped.
Then all eyes were on the stands as thousands of fans threw soft toys, scarves and berets onto the pitch at the Turkish Super League match in Istanbul.
Toys will be donated to children affected by .
Before the match resumed, players and support staff moved toys, including huge teddy bears, to the edges of the field.
The action of toys was organized by the Istanbul club “Besiktas”, whose fans came to the ready.
The stadium was filled with 40,000 fans for the match against Antalyaspor. Some brought their own toys, while others bought them from the nearest club shop.
The government’s emergency management agency has confirmed that more than 44,000 people have died in the country, which was hit by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake on February 6.
As a result, more than 530,000 people have been displaced and more than 173,000 buildings have collapsed since the first earthquake hit the region.
Thousands of children left homeless will receive toys from the match.
The draw took place at the 4:17 mark of the match as a symbolic allusion to the time – 4:17 am – when the earthquake hit Turkey and Syria.
The toys were thrown at the 4:17 mark when the region was hit by an earthquake. Source: Getty / Depo Photos / ABACA / PA / Alamy
Besiktas said in a statement that the event was intended to “boost the morale of children affected by the earthquake that has suffocated our country.”
Besiktas also revealed that players’ jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with proceeds donated to earthquake victims.
Several players and club management have been involved in helping out, from visiting fans in the hospital to packing and delivering items sent to earthquake-hit regions.
The club has been involved in toy tossing before, most notably in 2011 after the earthquake in Van, Turkey, which killed over 600 people.