Sheikh Hamdan joins Arab and Muslim fans in mourning Kobe Bryant’s death

Memorial signage hangs near people mourning for former NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. (AFP)
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Updated 27 January 2020

Sheikh Hamdan joins Arab and Muslim fans in mourning Kobe Bryant’s death

  • All passengers on board of helicopter died
  • NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said he will remember Kobe as more than an athlete

DUBAI: The Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum has joined other basketball fans all over the world are mourning the sudden death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash on Monday.

Bryant, who played his entire 20-season career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers, was one of the nine people who perished when the helicopter they were in crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California. Among the fatalities was Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

“You carried an inspirational message to our youth in Dubai and helped them accomplish their dreams. Heroes come and go, but legends are forever,” Sheikh Hamdan posted on Twitter, in a heartrending tribute for the NBA superstar.


A multitude of Arab fans from across the region also took to social media accounts to mourn the death of the player.

“I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was all fake news. A couple of tears came out of my eyes… my heart was beating really quickly and my face turned red. Kobe was more than a basketball player to me, he was a real life superhero. He motivated me to give it my all with anything I do, he’s the main reason why I decided to play and watch basketball,” Journalism student at the American University of Sharjah Amro Eldahshoury told Arab News.

And posts calling Bryant a legend and offering condolences filled Twitter.

“Tomorrow is not granted, love each other today. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash… he has taught us a lot about work and doing what one loves,” Cofounder and CTO of MarkeetEx Sharifa Al-Barami tweeted on Monday.

Another NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mourned Bryant’s death and said he will remember him “as a man who was much more than an athlete.”

Celebrities with Arab descent or who are partly Arab also took to Instagram.

Gigi and Bella Hadid posted images of the player, offering condolences to his wife over the loss of her husband and daughter and praying for the families of those affected by the crash.

Shanin Shaik, a model of Saudi descent, captioned an image of the player saying “Legends live forever.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Legends live forever

A post shared by SHANINA SHAIK (@shaninamshaik) on

Another model of African-Arab roots, Imaan Hammam, also took to Instagram to honor Bryant. She urged people to value their blessings because of the fleeting nature of life.

But Bryant was also loved by people who were not even basketball fans.

“It shocked me. Kobe the basketball legend has died in a helicopter crash. It all just seemed so paradoxical. I was not that into basketball but I’ve always loved Kobe. I loved how humble he was. I loved his sense of humor and his kindheartednesses. Rest in peace legend, my heart goes out to his wife and kids,” AUS graduate Moza Al-Nabouda told Arab News.

Bryant was named NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 and two-time NBA Finals MVP, and had two Olympic gold medals for men’s basketball.


Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

Updated 25 February 2020

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

  • The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected
  • Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe

ROME: Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected, but the minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban.
There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.
Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.
“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.”