'Very sad day in our history': Kiwi striker honors Christchurch victims with touching celebration
New Zealand striker Kosta Barbarouses made a heart-warming gesture in memory of the slain Christchurch mosque shooting victims by bowing in a Muslim prayer after scoring for Australian A-League team Melbourne Victory.
After opening the scoring on 24 minutes against Brisbane Roar on Saturday, Barbarouses, a native of New Zealand capital Wellington, dropped to his knees and bowed his head on the touchline in an apparent imitation of the Muslim prayer Sajdah.
An emotional Barbarouses explained his celebration after the match, saying he had been "devastated" by the terror attack and that the gesture was in honor of the fifty people who lost their lives during Friday's attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, on the country's east coast.
A non-Muslim footballer in New Zealand, Kosta Barbarouses pays his respects to the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack by performing a Sajdah after scoring a goal #ChristchurchTerrorAttackpic.twitter.com/ckAxw8cR5q— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) March 16, 2019
"I'm pretty devastated to be honest. A pretty emotional day," Barbarouses told Fox Sports. "[The celebration] doesn’t mean much to them but it’s something."
The 29-year-old then went on to post to Instagram a picture of his celebration with the words: "My prayers go out to everyone that lost their lives and to all their loved ones, very sad day in our history."
The Victory went on to win the match 2-1 with Barbarouses doubling the advantage and bagging a second goal in the 39th minute.