NFF: No Nigerian Player Among Casualties of Earthquake in Turkey

Femi Solaja with agency report

With hundreds of residents and some footballers confirmed dead in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey,  President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, has confirmed that no Nigerian player is affected by the unfortunate incident.

The NFF boss announced on the verified Instagram page of the football federation yesterday that it feels “sad about the unfortunate earthquake in Kahramanmaras city of Turkey.”

The Instagram message hinted that Gusau had  reached out to Nigerian players based in Turkey and they have all confirmed their wellbeing.

“We pray for the souls of the departed to rest in peace even as we commiserate with the people of Turkey at this time,” the message noted.

As at last night, former Chelsea and Newcastle winger Christian Atsu was reportedly amongst those trapped under rubble of a destroyed nine-story building following the natural disaster in Turkey.

More than 1,600 people have been killed and thousands more injured after the catastrophic earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria overnight, flattening neighbourhoods while families were asleep.

As reported by multiple outlets in Turkey, a search and rescue operation is ongoing to save the Ghanaian international Atsu, who joined Turkish Super Lig club Hatayspor last summer.

The 31-year-old joined Chelsea in 2013 but never played a competitive minute for the club as he was sent out on loan for a number of seasons including to Everton and Newcastle.

Though he made just five appearances at Everton, he impressed enough on loan at Newcastle to make a permanent move to the Magpies.

In total he made 107 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals, before joining Saudi side Al-Raed in 2021.

Newcastle have posted on social media with a photo of Atsu when he was at the club, saying they were ‘praying for some good news’.  

Atsu was in action on Sunday for Hatayspor, scoring a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time in a 1-0 victory over Kasimpasa. 

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