The Nigeria Football Federation and Chelsea legend Mikel Obi have commiserated with the family of Ghana international Christian Atsu over the passing of the 31-year-old footballer in the earthquake that hit several cities in Turkey on February 6.
The former Chelsea and Newcastle player who had been playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, had been missing since earthquakes struck Turkish and Syrian cities on February 6. Atsu had been misidentified last week with reports confirming that he had been found and taken to hospital for treatment, the report, however, was debunked by the club and Atsu’s representatives.
The body of the former Ghana star was found in the rubble of the building he was staying in on Saturday, 13 days after the earthquake hit Hatay. Nana Sechere, a representative of Atsu in a statement said, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well-wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning. My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
Tributes have continued to pour in for the Ghanaian and the NFF in a tweet send a heartfelt condolences to Atsu’s family, friends and the Ghana Football Federation. “We are sending our deepest condolences to the family of Ghanaian international Christian Atsu, his friends and our brothers @ghanafaofficial. May his soul rest in peace.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi also sent a condolence message to his ex-teammate. “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Christian Atsu, my thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this very devastating event.”
The midfielder’s final footballing moment was scoring a 79th minute winner for Hatayspor in their 1-0 win over Kasimpasa on February 5, a day before the earthquake.