Christian Atsu found dead in rubble of Turkey earthquake
Christian Atsu, a Ghanaian footballer who plays in the Turkish Super Lig, has been found dead in the rubble of the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
Atsu, 31, had been reported missing following the earthquakes which have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in Turkey and Syria since February 6.
Tremor from the earthquake had hit Atsu’s residence and Mustafa Ozat, Hatayspor’s spokesperson, previously said the footballer had been found alive but was injured.
This was refuted by Murat Uzun Memhet, the Ghanaian’s agent, as the search for the former Newcastle United player continued.
But on Saturday morning, Mehmet, the Turkey-licensed football agent, revealed that Atsu had been found dead.
“Christian Atsu found and sadly passed away,” Mehmet wrote on Twitter.
Nana Sechere, another agent of Atsu who had earlier confirmed that the Ghana footballer’s whereabouts were still unknown, also confirmed his death.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning,” he wrote.
“My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.
“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
Atsu played in 258 matches and scored 24 goals.
His last match produced his last goal — an injury-time winner from a long-distance free-kick.
‘We’ll defeat you again,’ Guinea Bissau coach tells Nigeria
Baciro Cande, Guinea Bissau coach, says the Djurtus will complete a double over Nigeria when they both clash in a reverse fixture of their 2023 AFCON qualifier at the Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau on Monday.
Cande who attributed his team’s historic 1-0 win over Nigeria at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja on Friday to their resilience and determination revealed that they did a thorough analysis of the Eagles players and how their coach (Jose Peseiro) set up his team, which helped them keep their hosts quiet and get the desired result.
“We did a thorough analysis of the Eagles players and how their coach (Peseiro) usually sets up his team, and the boys did the rest by sticking to our game plan with resilience and determination, Sports Extra quoted him as saying.
“It paid off, with Balde scoring what proved to be the winner.
“For the second leg, we shall go back to plan how best to play Nigeria. Of course, we will be going for another victory. We still respect the Eagles despite our victory on Friday).”
Djurtus captain, Braima Jorge, also echoed his coach’s views stating that they are determined to complete the job in the reverse fixture on Monday.
“Nigeria are blessed with talented players who are well known all over the world playing for top clubs,” Jorge noted.
“We scored a goal and defended well to frustrate Nigeria. It is a good win, and we want to return home to complete the job.”
Djurtus currently top Group A of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers with seven points from three matches, one point ahead of Nigeria, who are second with six points. Sierra Leone are third with two points, while Sao Tome and Principe are at the bottom of the group with one point.
Mesut Ozil retires from football
Mesut Ozil, former Real Madrid and Arsenal player, has announced his retirement from football.
The 34-year-old former German international spent eight years at the Emirates Stadium after a £42.5million switch to North London from Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2013.
Ozil disclosed his retirement via his official Twitter account (@M10) on Wednesday.
As a player, he won four FA Cup titles for Arsenal before joining Fenerbahce in January 2021.
“After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football.
“I’ve had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity. But in recent weeks and months, having also suffered some injuries, it’s become more and more clear that it’s time to leave the big stage of football.”
He described his football journey as an amazing one filled with unforgettable moments and emotions.
He thanked the clubs he had played for – Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbache, Basaksehir, the coaches who supported him and team mates who have become friends.
He added, “Special thanks must go to my family members and my closest friends. They have been a part of my journey from day one and have given me so much love and support, through the good and the bad.
“Thank you to all my fans who have shown me so much love no matter the circumstances and no matter which club I was representing. Now I’m looking forward to everything that is in front of me with my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure that you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels (winks).
“See you soon, Mesut!”
Edwards defeats Nigeria’s Usman again to retain UFC welterweight title
Leon Edwards retained his welterweight UFC title after defeating Kamaru Usman by majority decision at UFC 286 in London.
The Briton who is on a 12-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC retained his title in front of his own fans after a brilliant striking display as he prevented the majority of Usman’s takedown attempts.
The 31-year-old edged out former champion Kamaru Usman in their trilogy encounter with points. It was close match but Edwards landed the cleaner shots.
Judges scored the bout 48-46, 48-46, 47-47 to give Edwards a majority decision.
The bout at the O2 Arena was billed as the biggest British MMA fight in history.
After his loss, Kamaru Usman congratulated Edwards on his accomplishments by calling him “a great champion.”
He also noted that he did enough to win but admitted it was close.
Usman told BT Sport: “I think I did enough to win the fight but I knew it was close.
“He had a great gameplan. I always said from the start we’d meet again and I’m not done. We will see each other again.
“I always gave him props for what he’s accomplished. He’s a brother like myself and great respect. London you’ve got yourself a great champion.
When asked about his plans to get back in the octagon, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’, Usman who has now lost two successive fights said: “Not too long. I’ll get back with my coaches. I’m one of those guys, I can’t sit for too long.
“I’ll spend some time with my daughter. You guys get to watch us but you don’t know what we have to sacrifice to be here. We put it on the lines every time,” he added.
‘I might take a trip to Miami’– Edwards hints at a bout with Covington
After clinching victory in superb fashion, Jamaican-born Edwards called Kamaru a “great competitor” and also hinted at a bout with former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington, who was sat at cage-side.
He said: “That man [Colby Covington] has sat out for two years. I might take a little trip to Miami and see what’s going on there.”
On his win against Usman, Edwards said: “He didn’t get any takedowns I was landing cleaner shots. I took out his legs.
“Thanks to Kamaru for being a great competitior.
“I couldn’t get the kick around his head. He had the perfect defence. I was trying to set it up with kicks to the body and legs.
“I know it was a close fight so I knew I had to land the cleaner shots. He didn’t land many clean on me. He just had lots of pressure.
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