(MENAFN) Ghanaian football player Christian Atsu, who tragically lost his life nearly two weeks after the devastating earthquakes that struck southern Turkey on February 6th, will be laid to rest in his native Ghana on March 17th, according to Atsu's family spokesman, Robert Ann. Ann confirmed on Monday that a state funeral will be held for the former Atakas Hatayspor and Newcastle United player, and his family will go on to mourn him until his burial.
Atsu, who was just 31 years old, was found dead last month after going missing following the major twin earthquakes that hit southern Turkey. His body was sent to Ghana on February 19th.
The Ghanaian footballer had an impressive career, having played for several European teams, including Everton, Chelsea, and Newcastle United in the English Premier League, as well as the Portuguese club Porto. Atsu was also a member of Porto's 2013 Portuguese championship squad. During his time as a professional footballer, he scored 10 goals in 60 caps for Ghana.
Atsu's death came as a shock to the football community, who mourned the loss of a talented player taken too soon. The Ghanaian Football Association released a statement expressing their deep sadness over Atsu's passing, saying "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Christian Atsu during this difficult time. He will always be remembered as a great footballer who gave his all for his club and country."
The death toll from the powerful earthquakes that struck southern Turkey has risen to 48,448, according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. On February 6th, the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.
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