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Soccer game stopped as fans shower field with stuffed toys for earthquake victims

A Turkish Super League football match in Istanbul was abandoned on Sunday fans showered the field with stuffed animals intended as donations for children affected by the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria this month.

The event was timed to stop the clock during the match between hosts Besiktas and Antalyaspor at exactly 4 minutes and 17 seconds to reflect the time (4:17 am) when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck on February 6. took place in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

More than 48,000 people died in the earthquake and 185,000 buildings in Turkey collapsed or were seriously damaged. More than 10,000 aftershocks have hit the region, including a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in southern Turkey on Monday that killed at least one person.

According to the Besiktas websitethe toy-throwing event was called “Bu oyuncak sana arkadasım” – “This toy is for you, my friend” – and was organized by fans “to give morale to the children in the earthquake zone.”

“We would like to thank our fans for their meaningful event,” the club said.

Players resumed play after a delay as fans threw toys onto the field in support of the earthquake victims.

(Associated Press)

Turkish store Toyzz Shop sold plush toys in the stadium for the event. The store stated on Instagram that all proceeds would be used to support earthquake victims.

Winter clothing, such as hats and scarves, was also thrown on the field. Players and stadium employees collected the toys and applauded the crowd.

The game eventually resumed and ended in a scoreless draw.