The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and many other clubs as well as personalities express their sympathy following the announcement of the death of Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu found dead under the rubble of his house nearly two weeks after the earthquake in Turkey.

“CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe and the African football family send their heartfelt condolences to his family and the Ghanaian football family,” the football governing body said in a statement this morning.

The Ghana international, 31, has had stints with Premier League sides Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle. Atsu had been missing since the February 6 earthquake that caused his apartment in Antakya, Hatay, to collapse.

“There are no words to describe our sadness,” tweeted his Turkish top-flight club Hatayspor.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the club’s management initially reported that Atsu had been rescued “with injuries”, but a day later that stance changed.

The bad news was confirmed by the Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a brief statement this Saturday February 18, 2023.

The striker’s agent Nana Sechere, who has been in Hatay, also confirmed the news this Saturday on Twitter, writing: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning. My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”

Christian joined Chelsea from Porto in 2013 and had several loan spells at clubs including Everton and Bournemouth.

An initial loan spell at Newcastle in 2016, in which he helped the team win promotion from the Championship to the Premier League, was made permanent in 2017.

“We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,” Newcastle said in a tweet.

“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters.”

Everton said they were “deeply saddened” by the news, while Chelsea said they were “devastated”.

Atsu signed a contract with Hatayspor in September 2022 after a season with Saudi side Al-Raed and scored the winning goal in a Super Lig game on February 5, on the eve of the earthquake that claimed his life and that of more than 40,000 people in Turkey and Syria.