Ghana international, Christian Atsu, has died, according to his club, Hatayspor. He was 31.
Atsu was a victim of the devastating Turkish earthquake that happened on February 6.
The Turkish club confirmed the news mid-morning on Saturday, following earlier submissions to that effect by the player’s two agents.
The devastating earthquake in Turkey 12 days ago had left friends and loved ones of the player waiting for positive news about a miraculous escape from the disaster.
However, when Murat Uzunmehmet, the player’s Turkish agent, first announced the horrible news at 5:00am Ghana time, it was the start of multiple confirmations of Atsu’s demise.
Multiple media outlets in Turkey announced the news, before Mubarak Wakaso, one of the closest friends of Atsu, took to Twitter with a short message saying ‘Rest Well’.
Nana Sechere, another of the player’s agents who has been the source of verified information on the player’s situation with reports from Hatay, then followed up.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning,” Sechere wrote on Twitter.
“My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
Hatayspor, the employer of the Ghana star, then issued its first statement on Atsu since the entire episode began.
“The body of our football player, Christian Atsu, will be sent to his hometown Ghana,” the club said.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in a statement, added more detail to the story.
“The elder brother and twin sister of Christian Atsu and an Officer of the Embassy [of Ghana in Turkiye] were present at the site when the body was recovered.”
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and its President Patrice Motsepe have also released a statement mourning Atsu.
“CAF is saddened by the tragic passing of Ghana international, Christian Atsu following the earthquake in Turkey,” the continent’s football governing body said.
“CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe and African Football Family convey heartfelt condolences to his family and Ghanaian Football Family.”
Credit: Joy fm