Christian Atsu: Hatayspor president says former Newcastle & Chelsea player not yet found in Turkish earthquake rubble amid conflicting reports

Christian AtsuGetty

Hatayspor's honorary president has stated that Christian Atsu is yet to be rescued from the rubble caused by an earthquake in Turkey and Syria, despite earlier reports saying he had been found.

It emerged earlier on February 6 that Atsu - who plays his football for Hatay-based Turkish outfit Hatayspor - had gone missing in the rubble in the wake of the earthquake that impacted the south of Turkey and north of Syria, so far claiming the lives of more than 2,500 people.

The Guardian later reported that 31-year-old Atsu was in hospital and being treated for injuries to his right foot as well as breathing difficulties. This follows on from a separate, prior report from Turkish journalist Yagiz Sabuncuoglu who claimed that Hatayspor vice-President Mustafa Ozat has said that Atsu and sporting director Taner Savut were still under the rubble, and that the club were trying to reach them.

A new statement from Hatay Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Lutfu Savas, honorary president of Hatayspor, confirms: "The search and rescue efforts for Atsu are unfortunately continuing."

News broke of the earthquake near the border between the two nations in the early hours of February 6 local time, with a powerful tremor hitting further north some 12 hours later. Rescue teams continue to fight through rubble and freezing conditions in a bid to find survivors.

Tributes have poured in around the football world for Atsu, who has enjoyed a notable career that has seen him play in the Premier League with Chelsea, Everton and Newcastle, as well as in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and beyond.

He has also been capped 65 times for Ghana.

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