The world was left in a state of shock on February 6, as news emerged of a massive 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.
The earthquake caused widespread destruction and left many buildings collapsing, with many people trapped inside.
The situation was made even more difficult by the fact that the earthquake was followed by a second tremor in the early afternoon.
Former Chelsea and Newcastle player, Christian Atsu, who now plays for Turkish club Hatayspor, was among those initially reported as unaccounted for.
A Hatayspor spokesperson, Mustafa Ozat, told Turkish media earlier this morning that Atsu and the club’s sporting director, Taner Savut, were “still under the rubble”.
This news sparked widespread concern and messages of hope and support poured in from across the football community.
The wider football family, including his former clubs Chelsea, Newcastle, and Everton, took to social media to send messages of hope and support for those affected, including Christian Atsu.
Ghana Football Association spokesman, Henry Asante-Twum, wrote in an email to The Associated Press that they had no news of Atsu and that Ghana’s international relations department was seeking information from Turkish authorities.
Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, also expressed his concern and support, tweeting, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors, and we pray that our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, is found safe and sound.”
As messages of hope and support poured in from across the football family for those affected by the earthquake, a Portuguese journal, A Bola, reported that Atsu had been found and was being transported to a hospital.
A Bola reported that he was found with breathing difficulties and an injury to his right foot.
However, these reports were soon denied by Hatayspor player Kerim Alici, who stated that Atsu had not yet been found.
This led to widespread confusion and frustration, with many calling for reliable information about Atsu’s whereabouts and condition and for false news spreaders to stop and not use this as a moment for the spotlight.
Fortunately, these concerns were soon allayed, as Hatayspor spokesperson, Mustafa Ozat, confirmed that Atsu had been rescued from the rubble and was undergoing medical care.
Unfortunately, Taner Savut, the club’s sporting director, is still missing and the search for him continues. We can only hope that Taner Savut gets the same positive news that Christian Atsu did today.
The confusion and uncertainty surrounding his status highlight the chaos and turmoil that can arise in the wake of a natural disaster.
The earthquake in Turkey and Syria has been described as one of the most powerful to hit the region in years.
The destruction it caused was widespread, with many buildings collapsing and leaving people trapped inside. The number of casualties is over 4000, but it is expected to be much higher.
The thoughts and prayers of the entire football community remain with Atsu, his loved ones, and all those affected by the earthquake as they work to rebuild and recover.