Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu has been found dead after the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria two weeks ago.
On February 6, two powerful earthquakes struck southern Turkey, close to the Syrian border, killing over 45,000 people, with thousands more injured.
Christian Atsu, a former Chelsea and Newcastle United player, had been misidentified and falsely reported as hospitalized “with injuries” last week.
The 31-year-old, who had been missing since the earthquake, has now been found under the rubble of the building where he lived in the city of Hatay.
His Turkish agent, Murat Uzunmehmet, confirmed the news to Reuters saying “Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.”
Atsu’s agent, Nana Sechere, tweeted this morning: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning. My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning
My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support
— Nana Sechere (@iAmNana7) February 18, 2023
Newcastle said they were “profoundly saddened” by the death of Atsu, who was part of the team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017.
“We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,” Newcastle said on social media.
“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.”
Hatayspor tweeted: “Sorry for your loss. The funeral of our football player Christian Atsu, who lost his life under the collapse, is on his way to be sent to his hometown Ghana.
“We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. Rest in peace.”
Christian Atsu joined Hatayspor in September 2022 following a year in Saudi Arabia with Al-Raed. He won 65 caps for Ghana and also played for Porto, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Everton and Newcastle United.
KanyiDaily recalls that Turkey President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had declared a three-month state of emergency in southern areas of his country that were hit by two earthquakes.