The world of football is in still in wait as one of its own, Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu, remains missing since the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, February 6th, 2023.
The forward, who plays for the Turkish club Hatayspor, was believed to have been rescued from a collapsed building with injuries, but his whereabouts remain unknown, causing confusion and distress for his partner, Claire Rupio, who lives in Newcastle, UK.
The earthquake left over 21,000 people dead and widespread devastation, and Rupio has made a heartfelt appeal for equipment to be sent to help rescue those still trapped in the rubble, including Atsu. She emphasizes the need for rescue efforts to reach deeper levels of the rubble, as time is running out for those still trapped. However, conflicting reports about Atsu’s whereabouts have only added to the confusion and shock for Rupio and their children.
Atsu, along with Taner Savut, the sporting director of Hatayspor, has not been seen since the quake. On Tuesday, the vice president of Hatayspor told Turkish media that Atsu had been found alive, but this was later disputed by other figures from the club and Atsu’s agent, Nana Sechere. Sechere tweeted on Thursday that “the situation remains the same, Christian Atsu is yet to be found.” “According to Rupio, Atsu’s representative is currently in Turkey, attempting to access the structure in Hatay where it is thought that Atsu is trapped.” The rescue team knows the location of the building, but the lack of equipment is making it impossible to rescue those still trapped under the rubble.
Atsu has had a successful career in the UK, playing 107 games for Newcastle and spells with Chelsea, Everton, and Bournemouth. The Premier League has announced a £1 million donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal to deliver humanitarian aid to those in Turkey and Syria in need of it. The league has also requested that players and match officials wear black armbands at games this weekend as a mark of respect for those affected by these tragic events.
The situation remains unclear, and the search for Christian Atsu continues amidst the devastating aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey. Rupio’s appeal for equipment highlights the urgent need for rescue efforts to continue, as time runs out for those still trapped in the rubble.
The Premier League’s donation and gesture of support show that the wider community is coming together in this difficult time to help those affected by the earthquake. The football world awaits news of Atsu’s whereabouts and continues to keep him and his loved ones in their thoughts and prayers.