Confusion over Ghana midfielder Atsu's safety after Turkey earthquake

AFP , Wednesday 8 Feb 2023

The coach of Christian Atsu's Turkish club Hatayspor said on Wednesday the Ghana midfielder is yet to be found despite Ghana's Football Association (GFA) announcing earlier this week that he had been found.

Ghana s midfielder Christian Atsu chases down the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) f
Ghana s midfielder Christian Atsu chases down the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Ghana and Benin at the Ismailia Stadium. AFP

On Tuesday, the 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 early on Monday.

Midfielder Atsu 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 Monday's quake.

"I don't have good news, still not found under the rubble," 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 Ghanian students in this building, the Ambassador for Turkey said he was rescued, a doctor made a statement, but it's a 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 is above 11,200.

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