On Sunday evening, the Ghanaian Christian Atsu scored a crucial winning goal in the 97th minute for his team Hateispor in a critical bottom battle against Kasimpasa, and ran to celebrate with his team's fans, most of whom would lose their lives in a few hours.
Nor did he imagine that a few hours later he would be fighting for his life under the rubble of the biggest earthquake to ever hit Turkey.
He was rescued from the ruins safely, suffering from breathing difficulties, but he realized very quickly that many of his club members were in danger like him.
The person who has not yet been heard from is Tahar Sabut, the professional manager of the group, who is known to have been buried under the rubble, but his body has not yet been located.
Found alive hours after scoring a winning goal, photo: AFP
Atsu may be the most famous footballer to the international audience, but he is not the only one affected by the terrible earthquakes.
Ahmet Torxilian, the goalkeeper of Maltiaspor of the second division, was found dead after his family contacted him via WhatsApp.
The team's star, Barish Bashdash, jumped from the second floor of his apartment when the earthquake started, and was injured during the fall.
In addition, players from the third league in Turkey, including Iranian and Cameroonian players, have not yet been located in the disaster areas.
From the other side of the border, it was announced in Syria that Nahader Jokader, a former national team player and now a coach in the Lebanese league, was killed in the earthquake along with his son.
Found dead, photo: Malatitspor, official website
The Olympic champion under the ruins
An equally terrible tragedy occurred in the various Olympic disciplines.
Turkey's Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling weighing up to 125 kg from the Rio Olympics, Taha Ekgol, sent a message to his family that he was buried under the rubble, along with no less than 40 wrestlers who had come to a training camp. He wrote that he only sees some of them, and right now they can Survive in his opinion only one more day, given the intense cold that drops to minus ten degrees at night.
The Uzbekistan wrestling team, which is in a training camp in the disaster area, managed to be saved, according to reports given by the Uzbek Olympic Committee, and now they are trying to transfer them to their homeland.
According to reports, they were miraculously saved after the hotel they were staying in did not collapse.
Those who did not survive the great earthquake are the players of Turkey's youth volleyball team, both the girls' and boys' teams up to the age of 14, who since the disaster have cut off all contact with them and the team that accompanies them.
The International Olympic Committee offered help to the Turks and sent its condolences, after realizing that many Olympic athletes were among the injured and killed.
Will it host the Champions League final as planned?, Photo: Gettyimages
Will the Champions Final take place as planned?
One of the questions that always arise after such disasters is what will happen to sports in Turkey in the near future.
The highlight event for the Turks is of course the Champions League final in June in Istanbul, but even before that, the Turkish soccer league was suspended, and it is unclear if and when it will return.
Also, the Turkish teams in the Euroleague do play in Istanbul, but in view of the days of mourning that will be announced in the country, it is doubtful whether they will soon play basketball, and also what value these games will have if they are played anyway.
The Turks planned to submit proposals for major sports events in the coming years, and now the question arises whether they will even allow the Turks to host the competitions, given the fact that some of the infrastructure in the country did not withstand the terrible earthquakes.
However, history shows that precisely such tragedies sometimes lead to compensation in the form of hosting major sporting events.
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