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Footballer Christian Atsu still missing after Turkey quake

Published February 7, 2023last updated February 9, 2023

Atsu's club Hatayspor has confirmed that his whereabouts are still unknown despite previous reports that he had been found.

Footballer Christian Atsu
Earlier reports that footballer Christian Atsu had been found have subsequently been rejectedImage: OZAN KOSE/AFP

Ghanaian soccer player Christian Atsu is reportedly still missing following the deadly earthquake in Turkey, despite earlier reports that he had been rescued, his club Hatayspor said.

Deputy head of Hatayspor football club Aydin Toksoz told state-run Anadolu Agency news on Thursday that the whereabouts of the 31-year-old international football player were unknown.

"We have not been able to reach Atsu," Toksoz said. Atsu's agent Nana Sechere confirmed to Associated Press that the player was "yet to be found."

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) had said on Tuesday that Atsu had "been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment," which was reported by numerous agencies.

"We don't know. Everyone is trying to locate in which medical center he could be," the player's image agent Gaynor Frascione told AFP on Wednesday. "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."

Still hopeful that Atsu will be found

Atsu joined the Turkish club, Hatayspor, last year, and has previously played for top English clubs Newcastle, Chelsea, Everton and Bournemouth.

Atsu scored a last-minute winning goal in Hatayspor's most recent game on Sunday, a day before the earthquake struck.

He has 60 national caps playing for Ghana, the last of which he won in September 2019.

Hatayspor is located in the city of Antakya, one of the cities hardest hit by Monday's earthquake.

The club's sporting director Taner Savut was also missing following the disaster.

Ghana's ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ahsitey-Odunton, told Ghanaian radio that she had a list of around 200 hospitals or medical facilities where Atsu would have been taken if he has been rescued.

She said she was hopeful that he may be in one of them and that the confusion was "understandable under the circumstances."

A previous version of this article stated that Christian Atsu had been found, as was reported by major news outlets around the world. He still remains missing. The current text has been corrected accordingly.

ab,rm/jcg,rt (AP, AFP, Reuters, EFE)