The remains of former Chelsea and Newcastle winger Christian Atsu, who died in Turkey’s earthquake, were flown home on Sunday.
The 31-year-old player was caught up in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Syria and Turkey on February 6, killing over 44,000 people in both countries.
The country’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that his remains will be accompanied by his family and Ghana’s ambassador to Turkey on a Turkish Airlines flight and will arrive in Accra, Ghana’s capital, on Sunday at 7:40 p.m.
The ministry said on Saturday that Atsu’s twin sister and older brother were present when his body was recovered at the site.
His widow, Marie-Claire Rupio, and their three children were in the stands at St James’ Park on Saturday to join in a tribute to the player before Newcastle’s Premier League match against Liverpool.
Hours before the quake struck, Atsu, on February 5, scored the last of his 33 career goals for Hatayspor in Turkey’s Super Lig.
His Turkish top-flight club, in homage to him on Twitter, said: “There are no words to describe our sadness."
“We will not forget you, Atsu." "Peace be upon you, beautiful person.”
He previously played for his national team, the Black Stars.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said: “Football has lost one of its finest ambassadors, one who will be difficult to replace.”
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