Ex-Prem star Christian Atsu still missing after Turkey earthquake despite claims he was pulled from rubble alive

8 February 2023, 18:23

There had been reports that ex-Premier League star Christian Atsu had been found following the earthquake in Turkey
There had been reports that ex-Premier League star Christian Atsu had been found following the earthquake in Turkey. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Former Newcastle United footballer Christian Atsu is still missing after the recent earthquake in Turkey, despite the Ghana FA claiming he had been rescued from the rubble alive.

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The whereabouts of the ex-Premier League star remains unknown after the devastating earthquake hit Turkey on Monday, killing more than 11,000 people.

Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel told Spor Arena: "There is no news about Atsu and 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. I will share everything as information comes."

Christian Atsu has been missing since the earthquake in Turkey
Christian Atsu has been missing since the earthquake in Turkey. Picture: Getty

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Club doctor Gurbey Kahveci added: "When we heard the news that he was taken to Dortyol Hospital we especially went and looked, but he was not there.

"At the moment we accept that Savut Taner and Christian Atsu were not found, unfortunately."

The footballer's agent said unsubstantiated reports about his client were hurting attempts to find him.

"Following yesterday's update from the club that, Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian's whereabouts," he wrote on Twitter.

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

"Official updates will be provided as more information comes to light. Please respect the families privacy during this harrowing time, and refrain from spreading unsubstantiated news as this will only hamper the search efforts for Christian.

"Thank you for all your prayers and support."

More than 11,000 are confirmed dead following the earthquake in Turkey
More than 11,000 are confirmed dead following the earthquake in Turkey. Picture: Getty

Atsu scored his first goal for the club at the weekend, just hours before the earthquake, scoring in the seventh-minute of stoppage time and securing a 1-0 victory for the team over Kasimpasa.

The 31-year-old Ghanaian international joined Chelsea in 2013 but was sent out on loan for a number of seasons to clubs including Everton and Bournemouth before making a permanent switch to Newcastle United in 2017.

His former club, Newcastle United, shared that they were "praying for some positive news" on Twitter alongside a photo of Atsu.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement: "I convey my best wishes to all our citizens who were affected by the earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaraş and was felt in many parts of our country."

He added: "We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage, and we continue our work."

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