Confusion over Ghana midfielder Atsu's safety after Turkey earthquake

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said Atsu had "been successfully rescued from the rubble but his Turkish club Hatayspor's coach said the Ghana midfielder has not been found


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Christian Atsu. — Reuters file
Christian Atsu. — Reuters file

Published: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 11:49 PM

The coach of Christian Atsu's Turkish club Hatayspor said on Wednesday the Ghana midfielder has not been found following the devastating earthquake in Turkey despite contradictory announcements earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) said Atsu had "been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment" after the 7.8-magnitude quake struck Turkey and neighbouring Syria early on Monday.

Atsu, 31, spent four seasons at Chelsea before a permanent transfer to Newcastle in 2017. He signed in September for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, based in the southern province of Hatay near the epicentre of the quake.

"I don't have good news, still not found under the rubble," Hatayspor boss Volkan Demirel told AFP.

Atsu's image agent Gaynor Frascione said she was worried about her client.

"We don't know. Everyone is trying to locate in which medical centre he could be," she told AFP.

"We don't know (if he's still alive). There were also 18 Ghanaian students in this building, the ambassador for Turkey said he was rescued, a doctor made a statement, but it's complete mayhem," she added.

Atsu spent five seasons at Newcastle, playing more than 100 games before leaving for Saudi Arabia in 2021.

He won the last of his 60 Ghana national caps in September 2019.

Dozens of nations have offered aid since the quake hit with freezing weather hampering emergency efforts. The latest estimate of the death toll in Turkey and Syria is above 11,700.

The Turkish football federation announced in the wake of the earthquake that all club games had been postponed.

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