According to Hatayspor’s Administrative Manager, Fatih Ilek, Christian Atsu was due a trip to visit his family before the devastating earthquakes in Turkey.
Atsu was set to leave Turkey to go and see his family but cancelled his plane ticket shortly following his performance which earned Hatayspor a win over Kasimpasa in the Turkish top flight
The 31-year-old after missing for days after the earthquake on February 6, was confirmed dead on Saturday, February 18, with his remains found.
Ilek reveals Atsu had plans of leaving Turkey but his goal in his last game for the club changed his mind as he joined in the celebrations.
“Christian Atsu told the coach that he wanted to take more time before our match with Gaziantep FK. ‘Can I leave if I find a team?’ he said. Volkan Demirel also accepted this request,” he told Radyospor.
“He didn’t play against Gaziantep FK, but scored a last-minute goal in the Kasımpasa match. Actually, he was going abroad to visit his family. But when he played well and scored, he cancelled his ticket. The earthquake happened on his happiest day. He had a flight at 11 pm. Cancelled the ticket. There was an earthquake at 4 am. Absolutely a tragedy.”
Since the confirmation of his death, tributes have been pouring in for the former Black Stars international from his former teammates, clubs as well as some of the football associations.