Footballer Christian Atu remains missing in Turkey despite previous reports, team official says



Christian Atu. Scott Heppell, Newcastle, England, 2020

Christian Atu, a professional footballer for Turkish club Hataispor, went missing on Wednesday, despite previous statements that he was rescued from the rubble of the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria and is being treated. A club official said.

It is unclear if Attu, a Ghanaian, is still trapped under rubble in Turkey's Hatay province or if he was taken but crushed in a hospital and could not be admitted. There is one in the area with the highest number of deaths due to earthquakes.

The team's vice president, Mustafa Ozat, said the information provided to radio stations on Tuesday when they told them that Atu had been rescued needed to be corrected.

"We have received information that Christian Atu has been removed from the wreckage," he told the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet on Wednesday.

Ghana's ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Asieti Odunton, told Ghana news agency Joy Sports on Wednesday that Turkey's foreign ministry was still searching for Atu at a medical facility.

She said Ashietey-Odunton is in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and could not go to Hatay due to road and airport closures.

A member of his team at his 2014 World Cup in Ghana, Atu has spent most of his career at European clubs such as Porto, Chelsea, and Newcastle. He joined Hataispor last year. A few hours before the earthquake, Atu had scored the winning goal for Hataispor in a match against Istanbul's team. The fate of Hataispor's other players remains unknown, and its manager, Volcan Demirel, is publicly asking for help.

"I thought Judgment Day had come. I immediately thought about the players," Demirel told Harriet of the moment the earthquake hit.


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