Ghana international winger Christian Atsu is among those missing after the collapse of an apartment building in Hatay, Turkey, following Monday’s huge earthquake.
He scored a 97th minute winner for Turkish top-flight side Hatayspor on Sunday night as they beat Kasımpasa 1-0, but just hours later was reported missing following the 7.8 magnitude quake that brought down whole apartment blocks in several Turkish and Syrian cities.
Hatayspor vice president Mustafa Ozat told Turkish TV station Play Spor: “Christian Atsu and (club sporting director) Taner Savut are still under the rubble.”
He told BeIN Sports several players and officials had been rescued and the club was working to help others.
Atsu, 31, played in the Premier League for Newcastle United and Everton, on loan from Chelsea, but joined Hatayspor in September.
Newcastle, who Atsu helped to promotion from the Championship in the 2016/17, tweeted they were “praying for some positive news”. Chelsea also tweeted their prayers.
“We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria,” the Ghana Football Association tweeted. “We remain hopeful for positive news.”
Atsu was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019, but has not officially retired from international football.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors, and we pray that our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, is found safe and sound,” Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted.
Hatayspor is not the only team to be affected by the earthquake. Several other footballers and sportsperson have been caught in the chaos. The spouse of Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel shared an emotional message on social media. “Hatay is in a very bad way,” said Zeynep Sever Demirel in a video shared on Instagram.
Turkey goalkeeper Eyup Turkaslan, who plays for Yeni Malatyaspor, was also among the many trapped under the rubble. The club shared a photo of him on social media, and wrote: “Our prayers are with you”.
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