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UPDATED: Chelsea, Newcastle, and others grieve over the loss of Ghanaian footballer Atsu

Rebecca Ahoame
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According to his manager, local media on Saturday stated that the body of former Ghanaian international Christian Atsu had been discovered following a severe earthquake in Turkey.

On February 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria killed more than 43,000 people in both countries, including Atsu, 31.

Initial rumors that the former Newcastle and Chelsea footballer had been saved a day after the earthquake proved to be untrue.

His body was discovered beneath the debris in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, according to his manager in Turkey, Murat Uzunmehmet, who spoke to DHA news agency on Saturday.

“We have reached his lifeless body. His belongings are still being removed. His phone was also found,” Uzunmehmet told DHA.

The foreign affairs ministry of Ghana announced that it had “got the tragic news.”

The body was discovered in the presence of Christian Atsu’s older brother, twin sister, and an embassy officer, according to a statement from the ministry.

Ghana stated that it was coordinating with the Turkish authorities to arrange for the return of Atsu’s body for burial in his native country.

Midfielder Atsu played for Chelsea for four seasons before moving permanently to Newcastle in 2017.

He signed to Hatayspor of the Turkish Super League last September.

It is with immense regret that Chelsea Football Club learns the news that Christian Atsu is confirmed as one of the many casualties of the horrible earthquake in Turkey and Syria,” Chelsea official statement reads.

Also, Newcastle honored “a terrific player and a special person.” The club continued, “Our players, staff, and supporters will always remember him with affection.

Search and rescue workers found Atsu’s body where he was staying at Ronesans Residence, a block of high-rise luxury flats that toppled over in Antakya city in Hatay.

Turkish police arrested the building’s contractor at Istanbul airport last week as he appeared to be heading to Montenegro, according to state news agency Anadolu.

Source: Punch

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