TURKEY: The body of former Premier League player and Ghanaian Christian Atsu was discovered in Turkey’s earthquake debris. Atsu’s manager announced the heartbreaking new to media houses.
Atsu, 31, was wrongly reported to have been rushed to the hospital last week. He was playing for Super Lig team Hatayspor following earlier stops at Newcastle United and Everton.
Since the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 and killed tens of thousands of people, he had been reported missing in Antakya.
“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,” Nana Sechere tweeted
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time,” Sechere added.
After spending part of his childhood at the Feyenoord academy in Ghana, Atsu joined Porto in 2011 before joining Chelsea two years later for a fee of £3.5 million. He was loaned out to Vitesse, Bournemouth, Everton, and Málaga before making his debut for the Blues.
“We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes. A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian,” Newcastle paid respect to the former player on Twitter.
In 2016-17, Atsu had a productive loan season with Newcastle, and the following year, he signed a permanent contract with the club for £6.2 million. He had 75 appearances with the Magpies before moving on to Al-Raed in Saudi Arabia and then Hatayspor.
On February 5, the day before two devastating earthquakes struck southeast Turkey, Atsu came on as a substitute and scored the game-winning goal against Kasimpasa.
In addition to football, Atsu was an ambassador for the children’s charity Arms Around the Child, which has offices in Ghana, South Africa, and India. The charity provides children with homes, protection, assistance, and education.
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