DUBAI: Sierra Leone forward Mohamed Buya Turay was reported to have “missed his own wedding” after asking his brother to take his place at the ceremony so he could join his new football club.
Turay signed with top-flight Swedish side Malmo on July 22 and reportedly missed his wedding ceremony so he could complete an immediate transfer to the club.
Swedish media reports said instead of joining his wife-to-be, Suad Baydoun, on their special day, the 27-year-old asked his brother to represent him at the ceremony, as his new club wanted the striker to join his teammates as soon as possible.
However, when contacted on Twitter by Arab News, Turay’s channel (@turay_buya), a message said there had been a “misconception” about the whole wedding because of the news headlines.
According to the message received, the footballer was in Sierra Leone and signed a contract with Malmo so he had to travel to Sweden (emergency) to start work.
“Marriage is important, but his work is too. We did the ‘Tie Kola’ (form of a traditional marriage in Sierra Leone) and a pre-wedding shoot because he was not going to be part of our Nikkah celebrations,” the message continued.
Nikkah is the official term used for a ‘marriage contract’ as per Islamic Sharia.
The reply further explained that the Turay’s brother represented him at the Nikkah wedding on July 31, which was arranged for family and friends to celebrate.
“We are Muslims and from a fullah background, there are traditional values one must follow,” concluded the reply.
Turay previously played for Chinese Super League clubs Hebei China Fortune and Henan Songshan Longmen.
News of the wedding surfaced after the forward took to social media and tweeted: “I married my sweetheart, wife and my best friend today. What an amazing human being. And what a blessing. Mrs. SBT Suad Baydoun I can’t wait to enjoy life with you together.”
The footballer posted three photos of himself and his new wife, saying that the images were taken ahead of the wedding ceremony.
Turay’s tweet received over 1,300 likes.
The footballer was quoted by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, saying: “We got married on July 21 in Sierra Leone. But I wasn’t there because Malmo asked me to come here earlier.”
He explained that the wedding photographs were taken in advance.
“So it looks like I was there, but I wasn’t. My brother had to represent me at the wedding. I will try to get her to Sweden and Malmo now so she can be close to me. She will live here with me.”
Turay made his debut for Malmo in a Europa League match against Dudelange on Thursday that ended with a 3-0 win for the Swedish club.
Following their win, the newlywed tweeted: “What an Incredible night, I had my UEFA Europa League qualifying debut at Eleda stadion @Malmo_FF with a great team win.”