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Leading sports figures raise $45M in one day for Türkiye quake victims

A fundraising campaign for the victims of last month’s devastating earthquakes in Türkiye has received  $44.8 million from benefactors on the first day of the event.

Famous sports figures such as Kylian Mbappe, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Ruud Gullit, Mikel Arteta and Arsene Wenger supported the ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ fundraising campaign, which is set to run until June 15.

The “shoulder-to-shoulder” fundraising campaign is organised by Türkiye’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Turkish Football Federation, the Turkish Union of Clubs and beIN Media Group and was moderated by Turkish TV icon Acun Ilicali.

In addition to TV channels affiliated with beIN, the programme was aired live by the Turkish broadcasters TRT Spor, A Sports, SportsTV, D Smart Sports, S Sport, Tivibu Sports, TV8 and Club televisions, TRT Radio, Radio Gol, Radyospor, League Radyo, as well as many digital media channels.

READ MORE: Turkish President Erdogan vows to build 300,000 homes in quake-hit region

Hearts are with the Turkish people

European Club Association (ECA) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi also donated over $2 million to Türkiye quake victims.

Al Khelaifi pledged to donate a total of $2.6 million (50 million Turkish liras) – 20 million Turkish liras from Digiturk, which is the main sports broadcaster in Türkiye, €1 million from PSG and €500,000 from the European Club Association.

He spoke on the broadcasted “shoulder-to-shoulder” aid campaign, saying they are not in Türkiye at the moment but their hearts are with the Turkish people.

More than 45,000 people died in the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes on February 6, which were centred in Kahramanmaras and struck 10 other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig.

The quake also heavily impacted northern Syria and was felt by several countries in the region. 

READ MORE: Turkish FM Cavusoglu thanks G20 counterparts in the aftermath of quakes

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