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Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu found dead after Türkey earthquake

Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu’s body has been found under the rubble of his residence in Hatay/Antakya which collapsed due to the deadly earthquake that rocked southern Türkiye almost two weeks ago, his agent said on Saturday.

Atsu, 31 years old, played for Super Lig side Hatayspor after playing in England for Newcastle United and Everton.


He had been missing in Hatay since an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8° hit Türkiye and Syria on 6 February 2023, leaving thousands of residents under rubble, and destroying hundreds of thousands of buildings with an estimated USD 25 billion in damage, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Following the quake last week, there were initial reports that Atsu had been rescued with injuries and taken to the hospital but that position changed a day later. Atsu’s body was recovered early on Saturday morning (February 18). Atsu’s elder brother and twin sister were at the site when his body was recovered, according to the Ghanaian foreign ministry.

His agent Nana Sechere tweeted: “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. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support”

The agent tweeted 4 days ago saying “It has been 9 days since the earthquake and 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.”


“There are no words to describe our sadness. We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person,” tweeted his top-flight Turkish club Hatayspor, which he joined in September 2022

Newcastle paid tribute to their former player on Twitter: “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.”

The Ghana Football Association in a statement said: “We would like to express our deepest condolences to his wife and children, the family, loved ones and the football community.” 

Atsu had 65 caps for Ghana and helped the Black Stars reach the final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, where they lost to Ivory Coast on penalties. Atsu was named Player of the Tournament.

In a statement, Everton FC said: “We are deeply saddened by today’s news that Christian Atsu has been found dead following the earthquake in Turkey earlier this month. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues at Hatayspor and everyone affected by this tragic event that has claimed so many lives.”


Atsu spent part of his youth career at Feyenoord’s academy in Ghana, then joined Porto in 2011 before signing for Chelsea two years later for a £3.5m fee. He did not feature for the Blues’ first team and was loaned out to Vitesse, Bournemouth, Everton and Málaga.


Atsu enjoyed playing for Newcastle on a successful loan in 2016-17, and signed for the club permanently for £6.2m the following season. He made 75 appearances for the Magpies before joining Saudi Arabia’s Al-Raed and then Hatayspor.

On 5 February, Atsu came on as a substitute and scored the winning goal against Kasimpasa, the day before two fatal earthquakes struck southeastern Turkey.

Credit: AIPS Media 

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