Ankara (EFE).- The lifeless body of Ghanaian soccer player Christian Atsu, a former Malaga player, has been found under the rubble of a residence in the Turkish city of Hatay, one of the most destroyed by the strong earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on the 6th.
This was reported to the Turkish media by Atsu’s representative in Turkey, Murat Uzunmehmet, confirming the death of the international player for the Ghanaian national team and the Turkish club Hatayspor, who was missing.
The 31-year-old striker, who has also played for Porto, Chelsea and Newcastle, among other clubs, died under the rubble of his home at the “Ronesans Residence”, where his relatives, who had moved to Turkey, Rescue work has been going on for days.
Hatayspor manager Fatih Ilek said Atsu had planned to leave the club, and had bought a plane ticket to France for the same day as the earthquake, but backed out of that plan after scoring a last-minute goal against Hatayspor. Kasimpasa from Istanbul and canceled the trip.
“He had a plane ticket, but he gave up going because he played well and scored. He was hit by an earthquake on his happiest day,” Ilek said.
Atsu had been missing since the first day of the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes, which left at least 45,000 dead in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.
Taner Savut, Hatayspor’s sporting director, was also found under the rubble of the Ronesans residence, where Atsu lived, but nothing is known about him yet.
Experts estimate that there are still tens of thousands of bodies under the collapsed buildings.
The Turkish Football Federation approved the withdrawal from the leagues of nine teams, including Hatayspor (Super League), which lost players or suffered severe damage in the earthquakes.