Christian Atsu: Ghana Accoord State Funeral To Late Football-star

By Chimezie Nebolisah

Ghana gave state funeral honours to former Black StarsChristian Atsu, who died in last month's earthquake in Turkey.

Tributes were paid to the former Newcastle and Chelsea player as he was laid to rest in a coffin draped in Ghana's national colours of red, yellow, green and black with calls to keep alive the legacy of the player who "gave his life to humanity".

At the state-assisted funeral, Atsu's widow Marie-Claire Rupiobroke down while reading a tribute, saying he left with a part of her.

"You did not go alone for part of me went with you. Your love is still my guide, and though I cannot see you, you are always sofull of life. You seemed to be immortal. Your smile, your love, I see you in our children’s smile."

The 31-year-old footballer was discovered dead on 18 February following the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit southern Turkey and Syria on 6 February, killing more than 50 000 people in both countries.

Atsu previously played for Cheetah FC, Rio Ave, FC Porto, AFC Bournemouth, Everton FC, and Malaga CF. He made 65 appearances for Ghana and played at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea where he was named the best player of the tournament.

Atsu was also a member of Ghana’s squad for the 2014 FifaWorld Cup in Brazil and is survived by his wife and three children.