Christian Atsu confirmed dead after going missing in Turkey earthquake

After eleven (11) days, Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu has been found dead under the building where he lived in southern Turkey after last week's massive earthquake.

By Stermy 7 Min Read

The body of Christian Atsu, a Ghana national player and former Chelsea and Newcastle midfielder, was discovered and confirmed dead in Turkey beneath the wreckage of his home following last week’s earthquake.

Christian Atsu Confirmed Dead: In the early hours of Saturday, his agent confirmed the death of the 31-year-old Hatayspor player who went missing after the building he lived in in Hatay, southern Turkey, collapsed during an earthquake on February 6.

Atsu’s agent, Nana Sechere, tweeted this morning: “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.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.

“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”

Murat Uzunmehmet, Atsu’s Turkey-based agent, told reporters that the player was discovered beneath the rubble of his home in southern Turkey.

He said: “Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.”

According to reports, Atsu had agreed to join a new club in France and was set to leave Turkey just hours before the earthquake.

According to other reports, Atsu planned to leave the country (Turkey) to visit family but canceled his flight after scoring a last-minute winner for his team against Kasimpasa the day before the earthquake.

Christian Atsu’s final goal for his club can be seen in the YouTube video embedded below.

His elder brother and twin sister were present at the recovery of his body. Atsu will now be flown home to be buried in his home country.

Christian Atsu Wife & Children

Atsu is survived by wife Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu and their three children.

Christian Atsu confirmed dead: Atsu moved to Turkey in September, signing a one-year contract with Hatayspor of Antakya. He shared a house in the southern Turkish city with Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut, who is still missing at the time of writing.

Hatayspor manager Fatih Ilek told Turkish radio yesterday: “Atsu wanted to play more and asked for permission from his coach to leave if he wasn’t going to get it.

“He bought a ticket to fly to Istanbul, and from there to France. He was going to look for a club to get more playing time.”

His club, Hatayspor also tweeted: “The funeral of our football player Christian Atsu, who lost his life under the rubble ( debris), is on his way to be sent to his hometown, Ghana. We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. REST in PEACE ATSU.”

When the Premier League learned of the tragic news, they took to their official Twitter account to share a photograph of the soccer player and extend their condolences to his family and friends.

Premier League tweeted: “We are deeply saddened by the news Christian Atsu lost his life in the devastation of the earthquakes that have hit Turkey and Syria.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Christian’s family and friends and everyone affected by this tragic event.”

Newcastle United FC Tweeted: “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.”

Chelsea FC Tweeted: “Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the tragic passing of our former player, Christian Atsu. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Michael Essien wrote: “Rest well King.”

Ghana’s foreign ministry wrote in a statement this morning: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has received the unfortunate news of the recovery of the body of Christian Atsu from the rubble of his apartment, following the earthquake which struck Turkey on February 6 2023.

“The elder brother and twin sister of Christian Atsu and an Officer of the Embassy were present at the site when the body was recovered.

“The Embassy is currently making the necessary arrangements with the assistance of the Government of Turkey to have the body transported to Ghana for burial.”

Tributes have flooded in from across the football world. Istanbul team Galatasaray tweeted its condolences to Atsu’s family.

The club wrote: “We are sad to learn that Atakas Hatayspor football player Christian Atsu lost his life in the earthquake that stifled our country.

“Our condolences to Christian Atsu’s family, fans and Hatayspor community.”

The death toll across Turkey and Syria has reached 45,000 and is expected to rise further in the coming weeks with many still missing.

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By Stermy
Stermy is one Crazy fan of the word "Internet". Always online to stay informed and keep others updated. #townflex