Christian Atsu’s Hatayspor teammate Kevin Olivier Soni, a Cameroonian international, has shared his last conversation with the former Black Stars star before the February 6 earthquake hit.
The Indomitable Lions midfielder, who is from Hatay, the city where the team is based and one of the hardest hit by the disaster, provided harrowing details of how he managed to flee the incident.
Soni spoke candidly about the events leading up to, during, and following the incident in an extensive interview with the French news outlet Foot Mercato. She also addressed inquiries concerning Atsu.
Below is a transcript of what he said about Atsu
Foot Mercato: Several members of the club have not had your luck and are still missing, like Christian Atsu.
Kevin Soni: I get goosebumps talking to you. Before that happened, I was talking with Christian Atsu on the phone. He had scored a free kick on Sunday and I told him that he had played well and that I had liked his match.
I told him that I hoped to find the grounds quickly so that we could play together. But I didn’t know that was the last time I spoke with him. Two hours later, I had no more news. I was told that my friend might be dead, it’s enough to drive you crazy.
I am certainly the last person to have spoken with him on the phone. I’m not proud to say that, I really hope we find him safe and sound. It is my wish. I pray for every day.
Foot Mercato: Some media have however said that he had been found. Have you had any news?
Kevin Soni: Those are lies. Tuesday evening, we flew back to Istanbul and he was not with us. If he had been found, why wasn’t he on the plane? These are lies.
They may have said that to maintain hope and not to frighten his family. What I can tell you is that he did not fly with us to Istanbul. I hope we will find him.