Christian Atsu Cancelled His Flight Hours Before The Earthquake

Tragic Christian Atsu was scheduled to fly out of Turkiye just hours before the devastating earthquake in the region but cancelled the flight after scoring a last-minute winner.

The Ghanaian footballer was confirmed dead on Saturday following the 6 February earthquake which has claimed more than 45 000 lives and injured thousands more, The Mirror reported.

Millions of people have been left without water, electricity and heating in southern Turkiye and northern Syria.

Atsu played for Hatayspor in their Turkish Super Lig clash against Kasimpasa the night before the earthquake and scored a 98th-minute winner, which encouraged him to cancel his 11 pm flight and stay in Turkey.

Atsu, who spent much of his career in the English Premier League, was planning on visiting his family but delayed his journey after his dramatic goal.

Hatayspor’s administrative manager Faith Ilek told Turkish outlet Radyospor before Atsu’s death was confirmed:

He didn’t play against Gaziantep FK, but scored a last-minute goal in the Kasimpasa match.

 Actually, he was going abroad to visit his family. But when he played well and scored, he cancelled his ticket. The earthquake happened on his happiest day. He had a flight at 11 pm. Cancelled the ticket. There was an earthquake at 4 am. Absolutely a tragedy.

Atsu, who signed for Hatayspor last September, was reported missing within hours of the earthquake. Hatayspor had initially announced that Atsu was found alive and pulled from the rubble on Tuesday, February 7 — yet this was retracted two days later.

Atsu played for the likes of Porto, Chelsea, Everton, Bournemouth and Newcastle during his career. He also won 65 senior caps for Ghana and helped his country reach the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015 — earning him the Player of the Tournament award.

His body arrived in Ghana on Sunday.

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