Former Chelsea player Christian Atsu has reportedly been found alive after several hours being trapped under rubble following the twin earthquakes that rocked Türkiye and Syria in the early hours of Monday.
There were concerns about the safety of the Ghana International after the teammates and members of the club’s technical staff at Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, had been pulled from rubble while Atsu remained unseen.
With their ex-player unable to be located, Atsu’s former clubs Newcastle and Chelsea took to Twitter to call for prayers and support for the winger.
Also, Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo and the country’s football federation released a statement of support for the victims of the tragedy.
Portuguese outlet A Bola reports that the 31-year-old has been rescued alive with injuries to his right foot and breathing difficulties. He’s been taken to the hospital for medical attention.
Ghanaian journalist Saddick Adams also reported that he was in contact with Atsu’s management team and confirmed the winger was safe.
“I’m still in contact with Christian Atsu’s management. A teammate of Atsu has confirmed to them, the player has been found and taken to the hospital. They expect an official statement from his club soon. Prayers still with him and everyone. Trust God he is safe,” he tweeted.
It is still unclear whether club’s sporting director Taner Savut and an interpreter who were also trapped alongside Atsu have been rescued.
The earthquake is said to have claimed the lives of more than 2,300 people in the border region while thousands are still trapped as authorities intensify their search for survivors.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a statement extended his “deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives at the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and with those who have been injured in this tragedy. We would like to express our solidarity and support to the people of both countries during this terrible time.”