April 1, 2023

Household, followers and beneficiaries of Christian Atsu’s charitable donations remembered the 31-year-old as a philanthropist.

Grieving Ghanaians gathered exterior the nation’s parliament constructing in Accra on Friday for the state funeral of nationwide soccer group winger Christian Atsu, who died throughout the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey final month.

Atsu, 31, was caught up in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing greater than 54,000 folks in each international locations. He had gone lacking following the collapse of an residence constructing in Hatay.

There have been preliminary experiences the participant had been pulled alive a day after the quake, however these turned out to be false and his physique was later discovered underneath the rubble and flown again to Ghana.

Mourners silently filed previous Atsu’s coffin, which arrived draped in Ghana’s nationwide flag. Household, followers and beneficiaries of his charitable donations remembered him as a philanthropist.

“He is much more than a soccer participant,” mentioned Fedna Asare, a household buddy. “His title will eternally be in our hearts as a result of he has helped lots of people.”

Ghana international Atsu was found in Turkey's Hatay province
Ghana footballer Atsu’s physique was present in Turkey’s Hatay province [File: Ozan Kose/AFP]

Atsu, 31, spent 4 seasons at Chelsea earlier than a everlasting switch to Newcastle in 2017. He signed in September for Turkish Tremendous Lig aspect Hatayspor, primarily based in Hatay, close to the epicenter of the earthquake.

He gained the final of his 60 Ghana nationwide caps in September 2019.

Atsu had been scheduled to fly out of southern Turkey hours earlier than the quake however the Ghanaian had opted to stick with the membership after scoring the profitable aim in a February 5 Tremendous Lig match. It was the final of his 33 profession objectives for Hatayspor.

Atsu’s older brother and twin sister had been current on the web site when his physique was recovered, Ghana’s international ministry mentioned.

A tribute was held for Atsu on February 18, attended by his widow Marie-Claire Rupio and their three kids, at St James’ Park earlier than Newcastle’s Premier League match in opposition to Liverpool.

“There aren’t any phrases to explain our disappointment,” tweeted his Turkish top-flight membership in tribute to him.

“We is not going to neglect you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, stunning individual.

He beforehand performed for his nationwide group, the Black Stars.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo mentioned, “Soccer has misplaced one among its best ambassadors, one who will likely be troublesome to interchange.”

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