Christian Atsu ‘successfully rescued’ from Turkey earthquake rubble

Former Premier League footballer Christian Atsu has been “successfully rescued” from under the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in southern Turkey and is now recovering in hospital.

The Ghana Football Association confirmed the news and said the 31-year-old is receiving treatment. His former team Everton then tweeted: “We are relieved to hear Christian Atsu has been found and is recovering in hospital.”

Atsu, who also played for Chelsea and Newcastle, was reported missing on Monday after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria.

The former Ghana international, now playing with Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, was said to be missing after team-mates and members of the club’s technical staff had reportedly been pulled from rubble.

But the Ghana Football Association tweeted a significant update on Tuesday, which said: “We’ve received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment.

“Let’s continue to pray for Christian.”

The vice president of Hatayspor, Mustafa Ozak, told media on Tuesday that Atsu had been pulled out from the rubble injured but that the club’s sporting director, Taner Savut, was still under the rubble.

Ozat told BeIN Sports on Monday several players and officials had been rescued from the rubble.

Turkey’s Hatay province was hit by the 7.8 magnitude quake that brought down thousands of buildings, killing some 5,000 people, in several Turkish and Syrian cities on Monday.

Atsu joined Hatayspor in September. He was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019, but has not officially retired from international football.