Christian Atsu found alive, says Ghana ambassador to Turkey

The 31-year-old, who played for both Chelsea and Newcastle during his time in the Premier League, was caught up in the 7.7 magnitude earthquake which occurred on Monday

Christian Atsu has been found alive following reports that he was ‘trapped’ after an earthquake in Turkey, Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton has confirmed.

The 31-year-old, who played for both Chelsea and Newcastle during his time in the Premier League, was caught up in the 7.7 magnitude earthquake which occurred on Monday.

Speaking to Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday (7 February), Ashietey-Odunton said “I am just getting information from the president of the Ghana Association that Atsu has been found in Hatay.”

Listen to Francisca Ashietey-Odunton  in the attached audio clip:

Listen to excerpts of the interview with Francisca Ashietey-Odunton in the attached audio clip below



Hatayspor, Atsu’s current club, is located in the Turkish city of the Hatay, which is believed to be one of the areas worst affected by the incident. As well as Atsu, it has been reported that the club’s sporting director Taner Savut and an interpreter were also trapped following the earthquake.

Other footballers, including Onur Ergun and Burak Oksuz, were rescued following the incident. Two other team-mates of Atsu, Ruben Ribeiro and Ze Luis, are also safe, while Kerim Alici managed to free himself from the rubble.

Atsu, who joined Chelsea as a youngster back in 2013 after leaving Porto, also had spells with a number of other top-flight clubs including Everton and Bournemouth before moving to St James’ Park.

He joined Hatayspor in the summer and scored his first goal for the club on Sunday night – just hours before the disaster which has devastated Turkey.

It has been reported that at least 2,800 people have lost their lives following the incident with over 12,000 more believed to be injured across Turkey and Syria. A massive aftershock with a magnitude of 7.5 hit the south of Turkey just hours after the original quake. Reports say it was felt once again in Syria and also Iraqi Kurdistan.

Former Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu

Other sports stars have also been affected by the earthquake, with Olympic champion wrestler Taha Akgul issuing a desperate plea for “urgent help” on his social media account.

Akgul, who won gold in the 2016 Olympics and a Bronze medal four years later, said on his Instagram story, Akgul wrote: “The building where 30-40 of our wrestlers stay in the wrestling club in Kahramanmaraş has also been demolished… Our athletes are under the rubble. We are waiting for urgent help. Help me, my God!”

Speaking at a press conference, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the earthquake was the country’s “largest disaster” since another major earthquake back in 1939.

“Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts, although the winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night make things more difficult,” Erdogan told reporters on Monday.

“We do not know how high the casualty numbers will go as efforts to lift the debris continue in several buildings in the earthquake zone. Today is a day for 85 million to be together as one heart.”


Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra with additional file from Mirror UK

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