body Ghana football player Christian AtsuHe was found dead in the collapsed apartment. Turkey earthquake, he was returned to his homeland.

Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, who led a government delegation to retrieve the body, said Atsu’s remains arrived in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, late Sunday. The country’s Foreign Ministry said Atsu’s body was carried home in a coffin on a Turkish Airlines flight, accompanied by family members and Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey.

“This loss is very painful and this is a sad day for Ghana,” said Bawumia. “We all prayed, prayed, hoped against hope for each passing day, but God knows best.”

Atsu’s body was found Nearly two weeks after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 44,000 people in Turkey and neighboring Syria, it is under the rubble of a luxury 12-story building in the southern Turkish city of Antakya on Saturday.

It turns out that Atsu was rescued from the rubble, alive and hospitalized the day after the earthquake, but they were wrong.

Playing for Premier League teams Chelsea and Newcastle, 31-year-old Atsu joined Turkish club Hatayspor last year and scored the winning goal in a league game hours before the devastating earthquake that struck in the early morning hours of February 5. February 6th.

Hatayspor Sporting Director Taner Savut also lived in the same apartment and was reported missing at the same time as Atsu. Savut has yet to be found.

Bawumia promised Atsu a proper burial and said his death was a blow to the people of Ghana. Atsu made more than 60 appearances for his country after making his debut at the age of 20 in 2012.

atsu Commemorated with a moment of silence and other commemorations at football matches in England and elsewhere this weekend. At his old club, Newcastle, fans held up banners with his photo. An image of him was hung on the big screen before kick-off in Chelsea’s game against Southampton.

Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Kudus wrote “RIP Atsu” on a white T-shirt underneath his team shirt, revealing the message after he scored a goal for Dutch club Ajax on Sunday.

The Ghanaian football federation ordered a moment of silence in honor of Atsu at every professional match in the West African country on Saturday.

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