Ghana footballer Atsu found alive in quake rubble

Ghana footballer Atsu found alive in quake rubble

Ghana footballer Atsu found alive in quake rubble

Ghana national player and former Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu has been found alive in the rubble of an earthquake that killed more than 4,800 people in Türkiye and neighboring Syria, Ghana’s ambassador to Türkiye said on Feb. 7.

Atsu, 31, joined Turkish Süper Lig side Hatayspor in September, based in the southern province of Hatay near the epicenter of the massive quake on Feb. 6.

“I have good news coming. I am just getting information from the president of the Ghana association that Christian Atsu has been found [alive] in Hatay,” Francisca Ashietey-Odunton told Accra-based Asaase Radio, referring to a local Ghanaian community association.

The envoy gave no further details on his condition.

Hatayspor official Mustafa Özat told Play Spor streaming channel on Monday that Atsu was still in the rubble and was trying to escape.

Atsu spent five seasons at Newcastle after an initial campaign on loan before leaving for Saudi Arabia in 2021.

He won the last of his 60 Ghana national caps in September 2019.

“We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria,” the Ghana Football Association said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Süper Lig club Yeni Malatyaspor’s goalkeeper Ahmet Eyüp Türkaslan was also in the rubble in the eastern province of Malatya, his wife, Kübra Türkaslan announced in a video, asking for help in tears from the authorities.

Dozens of nations have offered aid since the 7.8-magnitude quake struck early on Feb. 6 as people were sleeping. Freezing weather has hampered emergency efforts.

Multistorey apartment buildings full of residents were among the more than 5,600 structures reduced to rubble in Türkiye, while Syria announced dozens of collapses.