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Former Newcastle midfielder Atsu found alive in Turkey quake rubble: envoy

Ghana national player and former Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu has been found alive in the rubble of an earthquake that killed more than 4,800 people in Turkey and neighbouring Syria, Ghana’s ambassador to Turkey said Tuesday.

Atsu, 31, joined Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor in September, based in the southern province of Hatay near the epicentre of Monday’s massive quake.

“I have good news coming. I am just getting information from the president of the Ghana association that Christian Atsu has been found in Hatay,” Francisca Ashietey-Odunton told Accra-based Asaase Radio, referring to a local Ghanaian community association.

The envoy gave no further details on his condition.

Hatayspor official Mustafa Ozat told Play Spor streaming channel on Monday that Atsu was still in the rubble and was trying to escape.

Atsu spent five seasons at Newcastle after an initial campaign on loan before leaving for Saudi Arabia in 2021.

He won the last of his 60 Ghana national caps in September 2019.

“We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria,” the Ghana Football Association said on Twitter.

Dozens of nations have offered aid since the 7.8-magnitude quake struck early on Monday as people were sleeping. Freezing weather has hampered emergency efforts.

Multi-storey apartment buildings full of residents were among the more than 5,600 structures reduced to rubble in Turkey, while Syria announced dozens of collapses.

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