Reports from Turkey reveal Hatayspor and former Black Stars winger, Christian Atsu is still alive.
The Former Chelsea and Newcastle United star Christian Atsu 31-year-old was amongst the victims reportedly trapped under rubble after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey.
The 65-cap Ghana international joined Super Lig club Hataysport last summer. Atsu and the club’s sporting director, Taner Savut, were trapped under debris for more than 24 hours, since Monday morning’s earthquake.
The club’s sporting director is reportedly still unaccounted for. But the winger has since been taken to the hospital, as per the club’s manager, Mustafa Özat.
“I just had another meeting. Christian Atsu was taken to hospital with injuries.”
More than 4,300 have lost their lives in the disaster, with a further 15,000 injured, according to officials.
Other footballers and sportspeople have been caught up in the chaos. The wife of Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel shared a tearful message after a massive aftershock with a magnitude of 7.5 hit Turkey’s south hours after the original quake.
“Hatay is in a very bad way,” Zeynep Sever Demirel said in a video shared on social media. A number of her friends were believed to still be trapped under rubble, with fears that more footballers could also be affected by the disaster.
Turkish goalkeeper Eyup Turkaslan was also among those trapped under rubble, with Yeni Malatyaspor, where Turkaslan plays his football, sharing a photo of the goalkeeper with the caption ‘Our prayers are with you’.
footballers from the Marasspor team may have been staying in a hotel destroyed in the aftermath of the quake. A men’s volleyball team and a girls’ under-14 volleyball team were also reportedly affected, with some survivors being pulled from the rubble.
A number of wrestlers are also believed to be trapped, according to Birgun. Taha Akgul, an Olympic champion wrestler from Turkey, has called for help amid suggestions between 30 and 40 of the athletes have been affected.
“I convey my best wishes to all our citizens who were affected by the earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaraş and was felt in many parts of our country,” Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement.