The Local Organising Committee for the 13th African Games, Accra 2023 has expressed profound sadness at the passing of Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu.
Christian Atsu, 31, was reported missing after his residence in Hatay, southern Turkey, collapsed as a result of the terrible earthquake that devastated the area on February 6, 2023. As confirmed by his agent, His body was pulled from the rubble after a 12-day search.
Christian Atsu was born in Ada Foah, Greater Accra Region on 10 January 1992. He spent some of his early age at the then Feyenoord Football Academy at Gomoa Fetteh, in the Central Region of Ghana which has now been changed to West African Football Academy in Sogakope in the Volta Region. He later moved to join Cheetah FC, a club based in Kasoa.
Atsu started his professional career in 2011 with FC Porto and also spent a season on loan with Rio Ave. He was signed in 2013 by Chelsea FC, who later loaned him to Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, AFC Bournemouth, and Málaga.
After playing for Newcastle United in England and Al- Raed in Saudi Arabia, he eventually moved to Turkey to join the ranks of Hatayspor, where he had his last kick by scoring a last-minute free kick to secure victory for his team on 5th February 2023.
Atsu had a significant impact on the Black Stars, Atsu represented Ghana in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He helped the team finish as runners-up at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, in which he also won Player of the Tournament and Goal of the Tournament. He scored nine goals in 65 games for the country.
One of the nation’s charitable footballers is Christian Atsu. Aside from helping young football players, he also launched a “freedom mission” in collaboration with the Crime Check Foundation. Ten minor offenders who had been jailed for food theft had their fines paid by him. In addition to paying the court fine for a blind prisoner at Nsawam, Christian Atsu also paid for the release of a 62-year-old woman. Over 40 inmates gained their freedom from this project.
Christian Atsu is the owner of the orphanage “Arms Around The Child” at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region. The orphanage provides a place to live, protection, education, and support for children who have been orphaned, abused, affected by HIV/AIDS, trafficked and sold.
Today, we equally grieve and honour the life of a hero, a player of such greatness. Christian Atsu will forever live in the hearts of many people. His legacy will live on.
The LOC extends its prayers and thoughts to the family in this difficult time. May his memories bring them comfort and peace.
MAY HIS GRACIOUS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.
THE LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE
13TH AFRICAN GAMES, ACCRA 2023