Ghana soccer star still missing despite reports he was found alive in rubble amid earthquake devastation
The search for Ghanaian soccer star Christian Atsu is still underway on Wednesday despite earlier reports that Atsu had been rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building following a devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria earlier this week.
The director of Atsu’s current club in Turkey, Hatayspor, told Reuters on Wednesday that the 31-year-old former English Premier League player has not been located in spite of statements from the Ghana Football Association and Confederation of African Football that he had been found and transported to a hospital.
“There is no information on his whereabouts yet, we don't know where he is,” Volkan Demirel said. “It's not the case that he was pulled out or taken anywhere else.”
CHRISTIAN ATSU, GHANA SOCCER STAR, FOUND ALIVE IN RUBBLE AFTER POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE LEAVES THOUSANDS DEAD
A Hatayspor spokesman told Turkish media on Monday that Atsu was thought to be in a building that was brought down after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and Syria.
The Ghana Football Association tweeted an update on Tuesday that Atsu had been “successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment.”
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The Confederation of African Football also tweeted on Tuesday that he was “recovering in the hospital” but provided another update confirming that Atsu was still missing.
The death toll on Wednesday had reached nearly 12,000 as rescue teams from two dozen countries have responded to help locals sift through the rubble.
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Experts warned that the realistic window to find any in the subfreezing temperatures was quickly closing.
Atsu, 31, joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year. He previously played for Everton and Newcastle United.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.