As the world was hit by a powerful earthquake that struck Turkey, tragic news also emerged of the death of professional footballer Christian Atsu.
Atsu, who played for Turkish team Trabzonspor, was reported to have died in the earthquake that rocked the country. The Ghanaian winger was just 30 years old.
The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.5, hit the eastern province of Van, near the border with Iran, causing widespread destruction and killing dozens of people. Reports suggest that Atsu was in his apartment at the time of the earthquake, and was unable to escape before the building collapsed.
The football world was quick to express its shock and sadness at the news of Atsu’s death. Trabzonspor released a statement expressing their “deep sorrow” at the loss of their player, and offering their condolences to his family.
Atsu had only joined Trabzonspor earlier this season, on loan from English Premier League side Newcastle United. He had quickly become a fan favourite, thanks to his pace and skill on the wing, and had scored two goals in his first ten appearances for the club.
Atsu had enjoyed a successful career in Europe, playing for clubs in the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and England before his move to Turkey. He had also won over 60 caps for Ghana, and had been a key player for his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The death of Atsu is a tragic reminder of the devastating impact that natural disasters can have on communities and individuals around the world. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and with all those affected by the earthquake in Turkey.