March 26, 2023

A state funeral was held Friday in Ghana’s capital, Accra, for soccer player Christian Atsu, who died in the earthquake that rocked Turkey last month.

Chaired by Head of State Nana Akufo-Addo, the ceremony took place in the presence of the family of the deceased but also of former teammates, who wore a t-shirt bearing his likeness, and many fans, who parade in front of the coffin draped in the colors of Ghana and installed under a white tent.

Several speakers followed one another, including the player’s widow, Marie-Claire Rupio, who could not hold back her tears.

“You did not leave alone, a part of me accompanied you. Your love continues to guide me. (…) You seemed immortal. Your smile, your love, I see you in the smiles of our children” , she said in particular.

Christian Atsu died at the age of 31 in the powerful earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6 and killed more than 50,000 people. He had been playing for the Hatay club (Turkish first division) since last September, based in Antakya (south), near the epicenter.

After two weeks of searching, his body was found on February 18 in the rubble of the building where he lived.

During his career, the Ghanaian international (65 caps), also known in his country for his philanthropic activities, played in England, at Chelsea and Newcastle, or at FC Porto.

He will be buried in Ada, his home town, in southeastern Ghana.

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