Accra,– Mr. Abdul Hayye Yartey, the local manager of Black Stars’ Christian Atsu has encouraged Ghanaians to keep hope alive as search efforts continue to locate the player at medical facility or elsewhere.
Atsu’s elder sister, who identifies herself as Anna, also made the same plea in an interview with the GNA at the player’s family house, in Accra.
“I’m hoping that Atsu will be back soon, so all we need to do is to support him with our prayers,” she appealed.
This follows the latest information from the player’s agent, Nana Sechere, that Atsu’s whereabouts is still unknown.
Anxious family members of Atsu, many Ghanaians and the striker’s friends and fans across the globe, have been through a rollercoaster of emotions after news broke that he had been trapped under the rubble from the building housing his apartment, following a major earthquake in Turkiye.
The earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude hit Turkeyi and parts of Syria in the early hours of Monday, claiming more than 7000 lives, with thousands injured, in a snowy weather.
About 26 hours after the incident, Mustafa Ozat, the Vice President of Atsu’s Hatayspor Club, put to rest conflicting media reports over his rescue or otherwise by announcing that he had been found alive and sent to a medical facility for attention.
Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkeyi, Francisca Ashitey-Odunton, corroborated that account, saying Turkish authorities confirmed this to her. However, the Foreign Ministry was yet to give her specific information on the medical facility he had been sent to.
This information was greeted with much relief and excitement from well-wishers, especially the beneficiaries of his limitless generosity.
But the agent in a statement posted on social media this afternoon said, “Following yesterday’s update from the club that Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts.
“As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family, and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian.”
Hatayspor manager, Volkan Demirel, reportedly told Turkish sport website Spor Arena there was “no news yet” on either Atsu or sporting director Taner Savut, who was reported missing on Monday along with the player.
Mr. Hayye Yartey, however, urged Ghanaians to keep praying for the former Chelsea and Newcastle player to be found safe.
“Let’s keep praying for Atsu to be safe and back,” he told GNA Sports.
Ms Anna said the family was yet to hear from the Club about the incident. But plans were underway for their brother to visit Turkiye next week.
The last time they spoke to Atsu was on Sunday at about 1300 hours, she said.
The talented player joined Hatayspor in September last year and got his first goal for the Club when his side beat Kasimpasa 1-0 over the weekend.
The 31-year-old player, has since joining the Black Stars in 2012, made 64 appearances for the national team, with 10 goals and nine assists.
Atsu, a twin, has two children.
Source: Ghana News Agency