Soccer-Former Newcastle winger Atsu missing after Turkey earthquake


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Newcastle United v Oxford United - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 25, 2020 Newcastle United's Christian Atsu before the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell/File Photo

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana international winger Christian Atsu is among those missing after the collapse of an apartment building in Hatay, Turkey, following Monday's huge earthquake.

He scored a 97th minute winner for Turkish top-flight side Hatayspor on Sunday night as they beat Kasımpasa 1-0, but just hours later was reported missing following the 7.8 magnitude quake that brought down whole apartment blocks in several Turkish and Syrian cities.

Hatayspor vice president Mustafa Ozat told Turkish TV station Play Spor: "Christian Atsu and (club sporting director) Taner Savut are still under the rubble."

He told BeIN Sports several players and officials had been rescued and the club was working to help others.

Atsu, 31, played in the Premier League for Newcastle United and Everton, on loan from Chelsea, but joined Hatayspor in September.

Newcastle, who Atsu helped to promotion from the Championship in the 2016/17, tweeted they were "praying for some positive news". Chelsea also tweeted their prayers.

"We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria," the Ghana Football Association tweeted. "We remain hopeful for positive news."

Atsu was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019, but has not officially retired from international football.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors, and we pray that our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, is found safe and sound," Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted.

(Reporting by Cooper Inveen in Accra and Nick Said; Editing by Alison Williams)

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