Atsu’s whereabouts are unknown following the earthquake in Turkey.

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Following conflicting reports on whether Ghanaian international football star Christian Atsu has been rescued or not from the rubble four days after being caught in the earthquake that hit Turkiye and parts of Syria, desperate efforts are being made to locate his whereabouts.

While his agent, Nana Sechere, is asking for prayers to find Atsu, the Ghana Embassy in Turkiye says it is working closely with rescue teams to find the Ghanaian winger, nearly 48 hours after he was rescued from the rubble.

At the moment, the player’s whereabouts are unknown, as both Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, and officials from Atsu’s Turkish club, Hatayspor, claim they have not located the hospital where he was reportedly sent, nor have they been able to contact him.

Nana Sechere revealed yesterday morning on Twitter that the player had not been found.

“Following yesterday’s update from the club that Christian had been rescued alive, we have yet to confirm his 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. Let’s pray for his location and recovery,” he said in his Twitter post

“Nana Sechere, who is in London, not in Turkiye with the player, told the Daily Mail in London that the 31-year-old was lodged on the ninth floor of the club’s apartment building when the devastating earthquake hit.

“The last I heard from him (Atsu) was at midnight on Sunday, after their 1-0 win against another team in which match he scored the winning goal,” the agent said.

As of press time yesterday, there was still no word on the whereabouts of the 31-year-old winger.


Last Monday, news broke that Atsu, some teammates and officials were among the hundreds of people trapped under the rubble following two powerful and devastating earthquakes, measuring 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude, respectively, recorded within a short interval in south-eastern Turkiye and northern Syria.

Hatay, the home of Hatayspor, was one of the worst hit areas in Turkiye, along with Antalya, Diyarbakir, Kahramanmaraş and Adıyaman.

According to multiple media sources, the death toll kept rising, although more than 9,000 people had, since the incident, been pulled out of the rubble alive.

The death toll recorded in both Turkiye and Syria has reached 11,000 and rescuers say the chances of finding people under the rubble alive after three days are very slim

Hospitals have been overflowing with injured survivors, while those who escaped unscathed are at the moment seeking shelter in government shelters or hotels, with others huddling in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres to protect themselves from the winter.

Turkiye has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces in order to manage the response, while only vehicles carrying aid are allowed to enter Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Hatay in order to speed up the effort.

Where can Atsu be?

Apart from the claim by the Vice-President of Hatayspor, Ozat, that Atsu had been found, Atsu’s teammate, Kerim Alici, who is also his close friend, had confirmed on Turkish TV that the player had been rescued alive.

Meanwhile, Ozat yesterday explained that his claim was a case of mistaken identity, prompting the confusion over whether the player has been found or not.

The team doctor of Hatayspor, Gurbey Kahveci, however, said both the player and the club’s sporting director, Taner Savut, were still yet to be found.

“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 and Atsu were not found, unfortunately,” Dr Kahveci said.

Türkiye earthquake: Atsu’s whereabouts unknown

Similarly, Hatayspor manager, Volkan Demirel, told Turkish sport website Spor Arena that there was “no news yet” on either Atsu or Savut, who was reported missing on Monday, along with the player.

“If they were in hospital, don’t you think I would share this? Please don’t be sure that he survived. This should not be written as he survived,” Demirel said.

Mrs Ashitey-Odunton explained that following the conflicting reports, the Embassy had had to seek the help of Turkiye’s Foreign Ministry to locate the player because “as we speak we have gone through a list of about 200 health facilities and none has a list of patients that has Atsu on it”.

“We don’t know which particular hospital he’s been sent to, and because Ankara, where we are, is a bit far from the area of the incident, and we are restricted in movement, we’re working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to locate his hospital and we have been assured that they’ll find him,” Mrs Ashitey-Odunton told GTV.

Other Ghanaians safe

She said officials of the Ghana Embassy had not been able to travel to Hatay because movement had been restricted to only those who were rendering emergency services.

She indicated that apart from Atsu’s situation, all other Ghanaians who had registered with the Embassy and were in the affected areas were safe.

These include five female footballers who all played in the Ghana Women’s Premier League — Priscilla Okyere, Suzy Dede Teye, Regina Antwi, Gifty Assifuah and Queenabel Amankwah — among other Ghanaians who escaped unscathed from the disaster.


This latest development has re-ignited anxious moments for many Ghanaians and the football fraternity, with people again taking to social media to react.
On Twitter, Christian Atsu and Pray for Atsu have been trending.

Meanwhile, a Turkish established school in Ghana, Galaxy International School, has said its prayers and thoughts are with both the player and his family, “praying for him and all those still waiting in the rubble to be rescued”.

In a statement, the management of the school said it was saddened by the incident and expressed its sympathy “to all Turkish and Syrian families who have lost their loved ones in the terrible earthquake”.

“Our prayer is for the government and all the citizens of Turkiye and Syria to be safe and also wish the injured speedy recovery,” it concluded.”

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