Turkey earthquake: Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu found dead
By Jennifer S. Kuwanta
Former Chelsea and Newcastle United forward Christian Atsu has been found dead after going missing for days after the earthquakes in Turkey.
The Ghanaian footballer, who played for Hatayspor before his tragic death, was one of the star players from the Chelsea academy before heading to Turkey.
The 31-year-old was residing in an apartment in Hatay, which suffered huge damages during the quake.
Hatayspor said at first that he was rescued “with injuries,” but a day later, they changed their story.
The news of his death was confirmed by his agent in Turkey, Murat Uzunmehmet.
“Christian Atsu was found and had unfortunately passed away,” he said in a brief statement on social media. Atsu was staying in a building with a number of Hatayspor teammates and officials. The club’s sporting director, Taner Savut, is also missing.
Atsu scored late in injury time to give Hatayspor a 1-0 win over Istanbul-based Kasimpaşa S.K. in the Turkish League on Feb. 5, earning him praise from his new club hours before the earthquake struck.
Some survivors are still being rescued after the quakes and aftershocks in southern Turkey and northern Syria that are known to have killed more than 40,000 people.
Atsu joined Hatayspor late last year after previously playing for English clubs Chelsea and Newcastle.
The club’s headquarters are in Antakya, near the epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck in the early hours of Feb. 6, one of two major earthquakes that devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria.