Christian Atsu Remains Missing Despite Reports of Being Found After Earthquake

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IV

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Christian Atsu of Newcastle United (11) runs with the ball  during the Premier League 2 match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Thorp Arch Training Ground on March 15, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Hatayspor midfielder Christian Atsu, who previously played for Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton, remains missing despite reports he was found alive in the rubble of an apartment building on Tuesday following an earthquake in Turkey, according to Reuters.

"There is no information on his whereabouts yet, we don't know where he is," Hatayspor director Volkan Demirel said. "It's not the case that he was pulled out or taken anywhere else."

ESPN initially reported Atsu as missing on Monday.

Other members of the Turkish club have been accounted for, although at least two other players were reported to have been rescued from building rubble.

Atsu represented Ghana at the 2014 World Cup and at four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He played for Newcastle and Everton while on loan from Chelsea and joined his current side in September.

The Ghana Football Association, Chelsea and Newcastle were among those who tweeted support for the 31-year-old:

Newcastle United FC @NUFC

Praying for some positive news, <a href="https://twitter.com/ChristianAtsu20?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChristianAtsu20</a>. 🙏🖤🤍 <a href="https://t.co/HQT6yZOmRB">pic.twitter.com/HQT6yZOmRB</a>

Ghana Football Association @ghanafaofficial

We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. <br><br>We continue with our efforts to establish contact with officials of Hataspor and the Turkish Football Federation, considering the difficult situation. 1/2

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

We're praying for you, Christian Atsu. đź’™ <a href="https://t.co/KSG2YeGpP0">https://t.co/KSG2YeGpP0</a> <a href="https://t.co/KNvQExSfid">pic.twitter.com/KNvQExSfid</a>

CNN noted that more than 11,000 people have been killed across Turkey and Syria from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and "multiple strong aftershocks" that included a quake of magnitude 7.5. Tens of thousands are said to have been injured.

President Joe Biden said the United States "authorized an immediate U.S. response" and that humanitarian partners were also responding to the situation.

Atsu scored the winning goal for Hatayspor on Sunday night in their 1-0 victory over Kasımpasa that happened just hours before the earthquake struck.