Earthquake in Turkey kills goalkeeper; dozens of athletes are missing

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Turkish goalkeeper Eyüp Tükaslan, 28, is among the more than 3,000 dead in the earthquake registered in Turkey in the early hours of this Monday (6) – a count that includes victims in Syria, which also felt the shock.

Malatyasport coach Yilmaz Vural confirmed that the player was buried in the building where he lived in the city of Malatya, 1,100 kilometers from Istanbul.

“We had two of them off after the last game. Many players were not in Malatya, only Türkaslan was left. They only managed to save his wife. I am devastated”, said the coach.

Four Hatayspor players are missing, and rescue forces are combing through the rubble of the building where they resided in Hatay (1,090 km from Istanbul) looking for survivors.

Among the missing is the Ghanaian striker Christian Atsu, 31, who played for Porto, Chelsea and Newcastle. There is also no news of Cape Verdean striker Zé Luís, 32, Portuguese midfielder Bruno Ribeiro, 38, and Turkish midfielder Onur Ergün, 30.

Also wanted are sports director Taner Savut and translator Emre Aslan, others who work at Hatayspor.

Hatay’s women’s volleyball team has 14 players missing, and searches are ongoing.

Central Turkey was hit early on Monday (6) by an earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. According to Turkish media reports, the tremor lasted for a minute and a half. After that, there were another 40 of lesser intensity. There are thousands of dead and missing in Syria too, which has felt the impact.

Because of the tragedy, the Turkish government ordered the stoppage of all sports competitions. The country’s football clubs opened their stadiums to collect donations.

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