Christian Atsu, an ex-Premier League player is still missing in the aftermath of the deadly Turkey -Syria earthquake. He was previously thought to have been rescued.
On Monday, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Turkey and Syria near the border. More than 35,000 people have been confirmed to be dead and many injured. Many are still reported to be under the rubble of destroyed buildings, trapped and waiting for help.
Christian Atsu, a Ghanaian who plays as a forward for Turkish soccer club Hatayspor, and Hatayspor’s Sporting Director Taner Savut are both reported to still be under the rubble. It has been nine days with no sign of them. Before major news outlets had reported that the player was found and received hospital treatment, though it has been revealed as fake news.
Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere said to the Athletic, “We still have not located Christian. I am at the quake site in Hatay with Christian’s family. The scenes are unimaginable and our hearts are broken for all the people affected.
During my time here we have been able to locate Christian Atsu’s exact room location, and we have found two pairs of his shoes. Yesterday we received confirmation that thermal imagery was showing signs of up to five lives.
However, I am told that the only real confirmation of life is through sight, smell, and sound, and unfortunately, we were not able to locate Christian.”
Volkan Demirel, the manager of Hatayspor said: “There is no news about Atsu and Taner Savut yet. Wouldn’t I share this if they were in the hospital? I will share it as soon as the news comes.
“People are working day and night, I hope both of them will be saved. The whole team took shelter in their families. I will share everything as information comes.”
Hatayspor’s club doctor Gurbey Kahveci said: “When we heard the news that he was taken to Dortyol Hospital we especially went and looked, but he was not there. At the moment we accept that Savut Taner and Christian Atsu were not found, unfortunately.”
Christian Atsu’s agent had previously released a statement on Twitter saying the fake news were hurting efforts to find the Ghanaian soccer player, “Following yesterday’s update from the club that, Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts,”
“As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian.
“Official updates will be provided as more information comes to light. Please respect the families’ privacy during this harrowing time, and refrain from spreading unsubstantiated news as this will only hamper the search efforts for Christian.
“Thank you for all your prayers and support.”
Just hours before the earthquake, Atsu scored the winning goal for his club in a 1-0 match against Kasimpasa.
The 31-year-old Ghanaian had joined Chelsea in 2013 but had been a loanee to Everton and Bournemouth. He then joined Newcastle in 2017.