Christian Atsu’s agent has denied reports stating that the footballer had been rescued from the rubble of an earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.
Nana Sechere, the agent of Christian Atsu, has released a statement claiming that they are unable to confirm the footballer’s whereabouts.
It emerged that Atsu had been lost in the rubble of an earthquake that struck near the border between southern Turkey and northern Syria earlier in the week, which was followed by a second tremor, with the natural disaster claiming the lives of over 9,000 people so far.
A number of conflicting reports surfaced following the initial news regarding Atsu, with a spokesperson for Hatayspor – where Atsu plays his football currently – claiming he had been taken to hospital injured.
However, Sechere has said otherwise on Twitter. A statement reads: “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.
“Official updates will be provided as more information comes to light. Please respect the families privacy during this harrowing time, and refrain from spreading unsubstantiated news as this will only hamper the search efforts for Christian.
“Thank you for all your prayers and support.”
Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel has also provided an update. He returned to Istanbul from the earthquake zone in Hatay and spoke to journalist Suleyman Arat about Atsu and Hatayspor director Taner Savut, who is also missing.
“There is no news from Atsu and Taner Savut yet. Would I share this if they were in the hospital?” he said. “As soon as the news comes, I will share it.”
Hatayspor club doctor Gurbey Kahveci added: “We went to the hospitals, but he was not there. Unfortunately, we accept that Taner and Cristian Atsu have not been found at the moment.”
The first earthquake occurred in the early hours of Monday, February 6, local time, recording a 7.8 magnitude, and was followed by a 7.5 magnitude tremor hours later.
It was sadly confirmed by his club Yeni Malatyaspor on February 7 that Turkish goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan had died as a result of the earthquake.