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Christian Atsu: Ghana soccer star laid to rest in a state-assisted funeral

CNN 3/18/2023 Sammy Mngqosini

Ghana soccer star Christian Atsu has been laid to rest in a state-assisted funeral in Accra.

Atsu had been playing for Hatayspor in Turkey’s Süper Lig when he went missing after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on February 6.

Despite earlier conflicting reports about his whereabouts, his body was found under earthquake rubble and returned to Ghana on February 19.

On Friday, hundreds of mourners led by Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo, national team coach Chris Hughton along with his former teammates and family, gathered to pay their last respects.

Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere paid tribute to him on Twitter, saying, “A truly beautiful soul. It has been an absolute pleasure and honour having you in my life.”

“I will never let your memory fade, and so you will never truly die. You will live on forever in my heart and in my mind. I wish I had one more chance to laugh with you again.”

© Provided by CNN Relatives of Atsu are overcome with emotion during his funeral at the State House in Accra. - Misper Apawu/AP

Ghana’s Football Association also shared images of the funeral on Twitter, adding: “RIP Christian Atsu.”

The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria has reached 54,362, after the country’s Interior Ministry reported additional deaths on Monday.

The number of people dead in Turkey alone went up to 48,448 on Monday, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, according to state-news Anadolu Agency.

© Provided by CNN Locals perform traditional rites as Atsu is laid in his tomb in Ada. - Francis Kokoroko/Reuters

At least 6,660 foreign nationals are among the dead, Soylu added, according to Anadolu.

Mostafa Salem contributed reporting.

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