BUDAPEST – A plane carrying Fenerbahce football players was forced to make an emergency landing in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday after it collided with a bird causing its cockpit window to crack.
The Turkish side was flying from Istanbul to northern England where it will face Manchester United in its Europa League Group A fixture Thursday.
A series of pictures posted on the club’s social media account showed the damage after the plane had safely made it onto the tarmac at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport with the club’s official website stating that it was caused by a mid-air collision with a bird.
Fenerbahce vice president, Ozan Balaban, later told Fenerbahce.org that all the players and officials on board were fine and that team morale remained high despite the unexpected stopover.
“There is a crack on the cockpit glass, but the glass was double glazed,” Balaban said. “At the moment we’re in the terminal waiting for a new flight to arrive. To all our families and all Fenerbahce fans, we don’t want them to worry, we’re fine, and we don’t have any problems.”
Manchester United swiftly responded to Fenerbahce’s social media post with a Twitter message of its own which read: “Wishing you a safe trip for the rest of your journey to Manchester. See you soon!”
Fenerbahce currently tops Group A ahead of Dutch club Feyenoord in second place and Manchester United in third.
Zorya Luhansk of the Ukraine sits last in the four team group.
The Turkish side includes former Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie as well as Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder. (CNN)