7th February, 2023
Christian Atsu, a Ghanaian player trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building following Monday’s earthquakes in southern Turkey has been rescued alive, though he was injured.
The management of Atsu football club in Turkey, Hatayspor, confirmed the rescue of the former Newcastle and Chelsea player on Tuesday.
“Christian Atsu was rescued injured,” Hatayspor vice-president Mustafa Ozak told Turkish broadcaster Radyo Gol.
“Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still in the rubble,” he lamented.
Atsu, is in his first season with Hatayspor.
He scored in the club’s 1-0 victory over Kasimpasa in the Turkish Super League on Sunday.
Atsu was reported to be trapped in the rubbles of the quake by Hatayspor Sporting Director Taner Savut on Monday.
Leading Turkish sport presenter Yagız Sabuncuoglu also tweeted that “Hatayspor Sporting Director Taner Savut and Cristian Atsu were left under the rubble. Search and rescue teams are looking for two names.
“Search and rescue efforts continue for Cristian Atsu and Taner Savut. Both names have not been reached yet.”
The Ghana Football Association, also in a tweet said “We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
“We continue with our efforts to establish contact with officials of Hataspor and the Turkish Football Federation, considering the difficult situation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Christian Atsu and our brothers and sisters in Turkey and Syria. We remain hopeful for positive news.”
Atsu primarily plays as a winger, although he has also been deployed as an attacking midfielder.
He began his career with Porto, also spending a season on loan at Rio Ave. In 2013, he was signed by Chelsea for £3.5 million, who subsequently loaned him to Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, AFC Bournemouth and Málaga. After spending the 2016–17 season on loan at Newcastle United, he completed a permanent transfer to the club in May 2017.
A full international with over 60 caps since his debut in 2012, Atsu has represented Ghana at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He helped the team finish as runners-up at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, in which he also won Player of the Tournament and Goal of the Tournament.