Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu’s body has been repatriated to Ghana ten days after he was killed in the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
The death of the former Chelsea and Newcastle star was announced on Saturday February 18, by his agent Nana Sechere, who said the player’s body was found 12 days after the disaster hit Turkey and Syria, claiming more than 44,000 lives.
Ghana international Atsu, who was 31 and counted Chelsea, Everton, and Porto among his former clubs, was playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor at the time of his death.
The coffin containing the body of Christian Atsu arrived at the Kotoka International Airport in Ghana on Sunday night, February 19. The coffin was carried by Pallbearers as it was escorted off the plane and onto his final resting place.
Speaking at Kotoka airport in the capital Accra, Ghana’s Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia said: “We hoped against hope, every day that passed, we prayed and prayed. But alas, when he was found, he was no more.”
Mr. Bawumia added the late footballer was much loved and would be sorely missed. “It is a painful loss, a very painful one.”
He promised Atsu would be given a “befitting” burial.
Atsu had been missing since the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 6 February caused the collapse of his apartment in Antakya, in hard-hit Hatay province.
The Hatayspor club initially reported the player had been rescued with injuries, but this position was later changed and his agent confirmed the news of his death on Twitter on Saturday.
Atsu had been scheduled to fly out of southern Turkey hours before the quake, but Hatayspor’s manager said on Friday the Ghanaian opted to stay with the club after scoring the game-winning goal in a Super Lig match on February 5.
— #3Sports (@3SportsGh) February 19, 2023