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article imageGreek sports pledge support to victims of deadly wildfires

By AFP     Jul 24, 2018 in World

NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo led dozens of Greek athletes, sports clubs and associations on Tuesday in expressing their sympathy for the victims of the deadly wildfires ravaging woodland and villages in the Athens region.

"There are no words for this huge shock. My sympathy to the families of the people lost. A huge respect for those who are risking their lives to save others. I wish we all stay united and never forget this tragedy. Pray for Greece," the Milwaukee Bucks forward wrote on his Instagram account.

His brother Thanasis, who plays for the Greek side Panathinaikos, said that it was "a very sad day" for the country.

"Help in every way you can even with just a message of support or a candle in a church for those who lost their lives," Thanasis wrote.

Former Greece international footballer Vassilios Tsiartas announced that he will raffle a jersey worn and autographed by France great Zinedine Zidane in order to raise money for the victims of the fires.

PAOK Thessaloniki owner Ivan Savvidis said that all proceeds from Tuesday's Champions League qualifying match against Swiss club Basel will be given to those affected by the disaster.

The club also announced that it will pay for hotel accommodation for the those whose homes were destroyed in the blazes.

Several other Greek Super League clubs have said they will help collect food and clothing for the victims.

"The Hellenic Football Federation expresses its warm condolences to the families for the unfortunate loss of dozens of compatriots from the fires in the Athens area," the federation announced.

"The country's football family is taking part in the national mourning, standing next to the victims and their families and will soon take initiatives to help alleviate their pain."

The Greek Basketball Federation also expressed its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the "untold tragedy that afflicts the country and wishes courage to all affected".

Olympic and world gymnastics gold medallist Lefteris Petrounias said it was "a sad day for all of Greece. Our thoughts are with the families who mourn."

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was also left in shock by the horrific scenes in his homeland.

"Oh my Greece. There are no words for this tragedy," he said.

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