Fresh fear arises, ex-Chelsea star remains missing in Turkey earthquake despite initial rescue claim

February 8, 2023
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The report reaching National Daily claims that former Chelsea and Newcastle winger Christian Atsu is still to be located following an earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Though recent reports have claimed that the Ghanaian who is on the books of Turkish club side, Hatayspor has been rescued alive , but club doctor Gurbey Kahveci now reveals that the club is yet to locate the 31-year-old.

National Daily previously reported that he former Premier League star was in an 11-story building when the 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck on Monday morning – causing devastation in the region. More than 11,000 people are known to have been killed by the event, with rescue attempts ongoing.

Relief came on Tuesday when the Turkish club’s manager Mustafa Ozat said that Atsu has been removed from the wreckage alive.

Ozat’s claims had prompted a statement from the Ghana Football Association: “We’ve received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment. Let’s continue to pray for Christian.”

Disappointingly, the club doctor’s latest claim that the club are yet to locate Atsu has recreated fear over the 31-year-old.

“When we heard the news that he was taken to Dortyol Hospital, we especially went and looked, but he was not there,” Kahveci told reporters. “At the moment, we accept that [the sporting director] Savut Taner and Christian Atsu were not found unfortunately.”

Atsu’s international team-mate Mubarak Wakaso has also confirmed he is yet to hear from him. “Following yesterday’s update from the club that Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts,” wrote Wakaso on Instagram.

“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 family’s 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.”

Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere – who hasn’t spoken to the player since the earthquake – was told he was alive. He told Mirror Football: “The last I heard from him was at midnight on Sunday. Christian and his team-mates were playing poker until 3:30am at a friend’s apartment.

“The journey back to his apartment was around half an hour. He returned at 4am and the earthquake started around 20 minutes later. I didn’t know anything until I received a call from a club official at 5am asking if I’d heard from Christian.

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