Footballers pay tribute to Moroccan boy Rayan after tragic death

Clubs and players expressed condolences to the family of Rayan Oram, who died after being stuck in a well for five days.

Moroccan emergency services teams carry five-year-old Rayan Oram into an ambulance
Moroccan emergency services carry the body of five-year-old Rayan Oram into an ambulance after pulling him from a well shaft he fell into on February 1, in the remote village of Ighrane in the rural northern province of Chefchaouen [Fadel Senna/AFP]

The death of a young Moroccan boy who was trapped in a well for nearly five days has resulted in an outpouring of reactions worldwide, including from famous footballers, teams, and commentators.

The body of five-year-old Rayan Oram was recovered on Saturday in the village of Ighrane near the northern town of Chefchaouen after mechanical diggers worked around the clock to extract the boy after he fell 32 metres (100 feet) down a narrow well.

Paris-Saint Germain player and Moroccan national footballer Achraf Hakimi shared a drawing of Rayan’s face filling the expanse of the hole dug to reach the boy with rescue workers at the bottom of it on his Instagram page.

“To God, we belong and to God, we return” read the caption in Arabic – a verse from the Quran. His post was shared by his PSG teammate France national Kylian Mbappe on his own Instagram story.

Several European football clubs also shared their condolences on their Arabic social media pages.

“Sevilla FC, its board of directors and fans extend their sincere condolences to the Moroccan people on the death of Rayan,” the Spanish team said on Twitter.

Barcelona FC’s Arabic page followed suit, tweeting: “With great sadness and sorrow, we received the news of the death of Rayan. We extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to his parents and all his family.”

Manchester United’s Arabic Twitter account also expressed sympathy and solace to Rayan’s family.

Saudi football teams Al Hilal and Al Nassr, as well as Morocco’s league teams Wydad Athletic Club and Fath Union Sport all took to their social media pages sharing news of Rayan’s tragic death.

Zamalek Sports Club, one of Egypt’s biggest football teams, paid their respects to the people of Morocco and to the Arab people.

“From the narrowness of the well to a paradise as wide as the heavens, God willing,” the club tweeted.

BeIn sports commentator Hafidh Derradji tweeted: “Rayan became the son of everyone who was transfixed by the rescue operation.

“Millions of people care about you and grieve for your death,” he said. “You were not just the child of your mother and father, but our son … May God rest your soul and grant your family, and all the Moroccan people, solace and peace.”

Translation: Rayan died after he enlivened souls and captured hearts over a period of 100 hours, during which he struggled to live, alone at the bottom of a dark well. God granted you millions of people who cared about you and who are saddened by your death. You were not just the child of your mother and father, but our son … May God rest your soul and grant your family, and all the Moroccan people, solace and peace.

Source: Al Jazeera