Maine football player hit by car in Saudi Arabia


One of the leaders of a high school football team that won its first state championship – and the hearts of many state fans – is fighting for his life after he was hit by a car in Saudi Arabia.

Zakariya Abdullahi, a defender for the 2015 Lewiston High School squad, is currently in a coma in Saudi Arabia, the Sun Journal reported.

Abdullahi was on a pilgrimage to Mecca with his mother and older brother when the brothers were hit by a car while walking on a sidewalk, a football coach told the newspaper. Zakariya Abdullahi has suffered a serious head injury, the coach said.

A GoFundMe was set up Friday morning, and by Sunday morning it had raised over $113,000 to help bring him back to the United States and provide him with medical treatment.

The GoFundMe post said it would cost $100,000 just to fly Zakariya Abdullahi to the United States “in critical condition in an air ambulance to keep him stable throughout his journey.”

The 2015 football squad included players from Somalia, Kenya and Congo, elevating an already strong team to the state championship.

Abdullahi lived in Minnesota with his mother before the pilgrimage, but still keeps in touch with his former Maine teammates, said Dan Gish, coach of the Lewiston High men’s soccer team.


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