Former Hull and Man City player Omar Elabdellaoui has been rushed to hospital after being in an New Year’s Eve fireworks accident.
The Norway international remains in hospital after having treatment overnight, and with the extent of any long-term injury still unclear.
Omar Elabdellaoui, who currently plays as a defender for Galatasaray, was taken to A&E after suffering injuries to his hands and face when some fireworks he was holding exploded during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In a statement released shortly after the incident, Galatasaray said there was no threat to Elabdellaoui’s life but that he had been rushed to hospital for treatment, with particular concern over injuries to his eyes.
A statement from the Turkish club said: ‘Our player Omar Elabdellaoui was taken to Liv Hospital tonight.
‘Unfortunately, he was injured in an incident at home. In the hospital he received first aid.
‘The seriousness of his injuries will be announced at a later date. We hope that our important player will return healthy and well as soon as possible.’
Galatasaray vice-president Adurrahim Albayrak, coach Fatih Terim and captain Arda Turan are believed to have visited Elabdellaoui in hospital.
Doctor Vedat Kaya, who has been treating the 29-year-old, said he was beginning to show signs of improvement.
“There are injuries in both eyes, more in one eye,” he said. “His current situation is better than yesterday. He has the ability to see, but how will his condition be in the future? It is difficult to say anything now.”
Galatasaray President Mustafa Cengiz also sought to reassure concerned supporters in a statement.
“Omar Elabdellaoui is in good health.” it read. “It is still early to talk [about his long-term health], but he is getting better. The hope should never be lost. I think that we have to wait one or two weeks.”
He began his senior career at Manchester City before spending time out on loan at Stromsgodset, Feyenoord and Eintracht Braunschweig.
The ex-Premier League player eventually made a permanent move to Braunschweig in 2013, spending a season with the German side before moving to Olympiakos, winning the Super League Greece four times.
He also had a short loan spell back in the Premier League with Hull City in 2017, making nine appearances in all competitions.
2011–2013 – Manchester City
2011 → Strømsgodset (loan)
2012 → Feyenoord (loan)
2013 → Eintracht Braunschweig (loan)
2013–2014 – Eintracht Braunschweig
2014–2020 – Olympiacos
2017 → Hull City (loan)
2008 – Norway U17
2009–2010 – Norway U19
2010–2013 – Norway U21
2012–2013 – Norway U23
After the last training before the Antalyaspor match, Galatasaray’s technical delegation and their football players visited former Hull and Man City player Omar Elabdellaoui in the hospital where he is being treated. https://t.co/PojsNL3wlL
— Fan Banter (@fan_banter) January 1, 2021
Fans reacted after hearing that the former Hull and Man City player has been rushed to hospital…
@MCFC_EDS_ACAD: Hope there is no lasting injuries Omar #GetWellSoon #OnceaBlue
@onurbo77: I truly hope this doesn’t affect him in the long term
We are getting reports that Omar Elabdellaoui may have taken the fire work blast to save one of his children. If so what a courageous act from a man of the highest character. Omar we love you, and are next to you. Fast recovery and hopefully onto the football pitch again captain! https://t.co/i3ItTZU20b
— Gate 7 International Podcast (@Gate7Intl) January 1, 2021
He just wanted to make his kids happier 😔 Such a tragedy. Get well soon and be back stronger than ever @OmarEla14
— sinanthecypriot (@Sinan_NCY) January 1, 2021
Speedy recovery Elab❤️🥺 https://t.co/1hQj1VYzlf
— HB🤟🏾 (@hbotterill19) January 1, 2021
Fans will also remember when Mario Balotelli saw his career shrouded in controversy while playing at Manchester City.
He decided to set his bathrooms on fire with fireworks at 1am back in 2011, as you do. Balotelli scored twice the day after the fire at his house, whilst a party was ongoing.
He told City’s website: “The newspapers for the story wrong about me and the fire at my house. I didn’t set any fireworks off, it was a friend of mine.
“I didn’t know anything about it until I heard shouting coming from the bathroom. Luckily, nobody was injured and my friend apologised for the damage to my house.
“It was a really stupid thing for him to do. Someone could have been really hurt and I was really, really angry with him about it.”
Regardless of who was to blame, firefighters needed breathing apparatus as they spent half an hour putting out the blaze, for which Balotelli was billed £400,000 by his landlord to cover repairs.
— Complex UK (@complex_uk) November 3, 2014
A year ago, Lucas Moura was forced to apologise to his neighbours after had a fireworks display at 2am on Christmas Day 2019.
The Tottenham star is reported to have had a Christmas Eve party which of course went into the early hours and then thought it was the appropriate time to set off the big bangs.
Fair to say it must have given local children near by a surprise, instead of sneakily listening out for the jingle of bells of Santa, they instead heard what has been described ‘like bombs going off’.
One resident told The Sun: “Me and my wife had to get all the presents sorted and we didn’t get back to sleep until after 3am because of it.
“I thought it was really inconsiderate. It really upset me that he thinks he can do it. He must know it will annoy people but I don’t think he cares.
“They were non-stop for nearly an hour. It was really loud. It was like a bomb going off in a war zone.”
He did say: “I sincerely apologise to anyone who felt disturbed due to the fireworks after midnight.
“I know my responsibilities as a professional footballer and knew that training wasn’t until the afternoon on the following day.”