Confusion grows over Christian Atsu’s whereabouts as football in Turkey postponed

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Confusion grows over Christian Atsu’s whereabouts as football in Turkey postponed

Christian Atsu, a former midfielder for Chelsea and Newcastle United, is still missing despite reports that he was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building in Turkey after an earthquake.

The Turkish Football Federation has postponed all professional football matches in all leagues until at least February 17 as the country deals with the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that have so far claimed the lives of over 15,000 people.

On Tuesday, Atsu’s Super Lig club Hatayspor and the Ghana Football Association reported that the 31-year-old former Ghana international had been rescued from the rubble of a building and transferred to a hospital.

Hatayspor vice-president Mustafa Ozat on Tuesday told Radyo Gol Atsu “was removed from the wreckage with injuries” but that sporting director Taner Savut “is still under the rubble.”

However, Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel and club doctor Gurbey Kahveyi reported on Wednesday that neither Atsu nor Savut had been located.

“There is no news about Atsu and Taner Savut yet. Wouldn’t I share this if they were in the hospital? I will share it as soon as the news comes,” Demirel told Spor Arena.

“People are working day and night, I hope both of them will be saved. The whole team took shelter in their families.

“I will share everything as information comes.”

Kahveci is quoted as saying: “When we heard the news that he was taken to Dortyol Hospital we especially went and looked, but he was not there.

“At the moment we accept that Savut Taner and Christian Atsu were not found, unfortunately.”

On Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the province of Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey, but was felt as far away as Egypt. Multiple aftershocks caused additional damage.

Nana Sechere, Atsu’s agent, stated that unsubstantiated rumors about his client were hindering efforts to locate him.

“Following yesterday’s [Tuesday’s] update from the club that, Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts,” he wrote on Twitter.

“As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian.

“Official updates will be provided as more information comes to light. Please respect the families privacy during this harrowing time, and refrain from spreading unsubstantiated news as this will only hamper the search efforts for Christian.

“Thank you for all your prayers and support.”

Due to the earthquake, Monday’s Turkish Super Lig matches between Umraniyespor and Adana Demirspor, Giresunspor and Kayserispor, and Fenerbahce and Konyaspor will be played at a later date.

As of Thursday morning, Besiktas’s February 14 match against Antalyaspor was still scheduled to take place.

Thousands of buildings have collapsed across Turkey, and more than 15,000 deaths have been confirmed. About three thousand people have died in Syria.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were spent across the nation by teams removing bodies from the rubble of destroyed homes.

The authorities reported that approximately 380,000 people have sought refuge in government shelters or hotels.

Confusion grows over Christian Atsu’s whereabouts as football in Turkey postponed

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