Former Chelsea striker Christian Atsu missing after Turkey earthquake.
Former Chelsea and Newcastle striker Christian Atsu is missing and is believed to be trapped in the rubble following the massive earthquake that hit Turkey and killed more than 2,500 people.
The Ghana international, who plays for Turkish club Hatayspor, is believed to be in the damaged building, Hatayspor spokesman Mustafa Zat said, according to Turkish media.
Zat said club manager Taner Savut is also believed to be in the collapsed building and club officials have failed to contact the two men. They were probably trapped, zat said.
At least two other Hatayspor players had to be pulled from the rubble but are now safe, said zat. Atsu and Savut are the only two Hatayspor players or officials still missing, he added.
Atsu, 31, joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year after spending time in Saudi Arabia.
An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit large areas of Turkey and neighboring Syria a few hours before dawn on Monday.
The earthquake was centered in the region of Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey and was felt as far as Cairo in Egypt. A few hours later, a second 7.5-magnitude aftershock, possibly an aftershock, struck more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the epicenter, causing more damage.
Turkish authorities have said more than 3,700 buildings have been destroyed. The death toll is expected to rise.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo expressed his condolences to the people of Turkey on his official Facebook account and added: We pray that our fellow Ghanaian Christian Atsu is found safe.
Ghana Football Association spokesman Henry Asante-Twum wrote in an email to The Associated Press that they had no information about Atsu and that Ghana’s international relations department was seeking information from Turkish authorities.
Ibrahim Kwarteng, Atsu’s friend, said he tried to call Atsu but could not reach him.
We just pray that he will be found,” Kwarteng said.
Kwarteng runs an organization in Ghana that helps ex-convicts convicted of minor offenses reintegrate into society after being released from prison. He said that Atsu is the main sponsor of the institution.
Newcastle said on their official Twitter account that they are praying for positive news about Atsu.