Turkish footballer Merih Demiral announced on Friday that the shirt of Argentinian star Lionel Messi would be auctioned online to collect donations for victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkiye.
Demiral, who plays for the Italian team Atalanta B.C., tweeted: “Messi’s shirt worn in one of the matches and was personally signed by him, is being auctioned off.”
He added: “All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Turkish NGO AHBAP for use in the areas hit by the earthquake.”
Demiral explained that the auction: “Will close tomorrow, Saturday, at 19:00 GMT. Bids can be submitted via Twitter and e-mail”, according to the tweet.
The Turkish international player also thanked his fellow national Hakan Calhanoglu, the midfielder for the Italian team Inter Milan, and the goalkeeper for the French team Paris Saint-Germain, Gianluigi Donnarumma, for reaching out to Messi.
In 2017, famous Turkish rock singer Haluk Levent, 54, founded the AHBAP voluntary network to help those in need.
At dawn on Monday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkiye and northern Syria, followed by another hours later with a magnitude of 7.6 and hundreds of violent aftershocks. This resulted in a death toll exceeding 22,000 victims in both countries.