(CTN NEWS) – Football player Christian Atsu’s remains have been sent back to his native Ghana after he passed away two weeks ago after an earthquake struck Turkey.
Members of Ghana’s armed forces took his coffin away after the flight’s late Sunday arrival in Accra.
In southern Turkey, Atsu’s body was discovered on Saturday under his house. He was a member of the Hatayspor team.
The winger contributed to Ghana reaching the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final during 65 appearances for the country’s national team.
The 31-year-old also made appearances for Everton and Newcastle in the Premier League.
Atsu participated in the 2013 Premier League season with Chelsea before making brief stops at Everton and Bournemouth. He represented Ghana in the 2014 World Cup and was named the best player at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
When Newcastle was promoted from the EFL Championship to the Premier League, he was a member of the squad after joining in 2016.
“Our players, staff, and supporters will always remember him as a terrific player and a special person.”
The news also caused Everton to declare that it was “very upset.”
The club expressed its condolences to the man’s family, friends, coworkers at @Hatayspor FK, and all those impacted by the awful incident that claimed so many lives.
“Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the untimely passing of our former player, Christian Atsu,” the club continued in a tweet.
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawmia of Ghana said this while speaking at Kotoka Airport in the nation’s capital, Accra: “Every day that went by, we constantly prayed as we hoped against hope. Unfortunately, he was gone when he was discovered.”
The late footballer was dearly loved and would be deeply missed, Mr. Bawmia continued. It is a difficult loss, a very difficult one.
He assured her that Atsu would receive a “befitting” funeral.
After the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6 triggered the collapse of his flat in Antakya, in severely damaged Hatay province, Atsu had been missing.
The player’s agent announced his death on Twitter on Saturday, contradicting the first claim made by the Hatayspor club that he had been saved with injuries.
It is confirmed that around 44,000 people have died in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
According to Ghana’s foreign ministry, the footballer’s family and Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, Ghana’s ambassador to Turkey, traveled with the footballer’s remains from Turkey.
At 19:25 GMT, the jet touched down in Accra, where it was welcomed by family members, government dignitaries, and Ghana Football Association representatives.
Afterward, the casket was scheduled to be moved to a military hospital mortuary. For the deceased player, condolences have poured in.
Fans Tribute To Christian Atsu
During the team’s Premier League match against Liverpool on Saturday, his wife, Marie-Claire Rupio and their three children joined Newcastle supporters in observing a minute of silence. For Newcastle, Atsu played from 2016 to 2021.
Before bursting into cheers, away fans screamed, “you’ll never walk alone” as Atsu’s face appeared on the big screen.
After scoring for Dutch team Ajax on Sunday, Ghana captain Mohammed Kudus removed his jersey to reveal a white shirt with the words “RIP Atsu” written on it.
According to the organization Arms Around The Child, who has recognized Atsu as an ambassador since 2016, he has been the “primary beneficiary” of a school in Ghana that helps abandoned children, orphans, the chronically ill, and people who have been rescued from trafficking.
“A young child from poverty in Ghana who followed his ambitions and used his talent and platform to assist others,” they claimed of Atsu.
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