Despite earlier reports of his rescue, the whereabouts of Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu remain unknown following the huge earthquakes which struck Turkiye and neighboring Syria.

The former Newcastle United and Chelsea player, who signed a one-year contract with Turkish Super Lig club Hatayspor last year, was initially believed to have been pulled from rubble of a collapsed building alive, but with some injuries. This was announced by both Hatayspor Vice President Mustafa Ozat and the Ghana Football Association.

However, it has now been reported that he still remains unaccounted for. The team’s manager Volkan Demirel told Turkish sports website, Spor Arena: “There is no news about Atsu and [sporting director] Taner Savut yet. Wouldn’t I share this if they were in the hospital? I will share it as soon as the news comes.”

“People are working day and night, I hope both of them will be saved. The whole team took shelter in their families,” he said adding that “I will share everything as information comes.”

Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere also stated on Twitter: “Following yesterday’s [Tuesday’s] update from the club that, Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts.”

“As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian.”

Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkiye, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, has spoken of the “confusion” over Atu’s whereabouts, telling Joy Sports: “Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here informed me that they wanted to confirm if Christian Atsu had been found and rescued, and sent to a medical centre.”

“However, in all the confusion – which is understandable under the circumstances [as you are rescued you are put in an ambulance and sent to the hospital] – they are not sure yet which particular hospital or health facility he has been sent to.”

“This morning again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured me they are working feverishly to find out which facility he was sent to and will get back to me as soon as possible because I have been on them that I need to go and see him.”

The combined death toll of Monday’s earthquake has now passed 17,000 with experts warning it is likely to continue to rise as more bodies are retrieved. The Turkish Football Federation has since announced that all club games had been postponed indefinitely.


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