Ghana and Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu has weighed in on the issue of Islamic extremism that has plagued host nation Egypt ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

Much as he is looking forward to boarding Ghana’s flight to Cairo, the anticipation is tempered by the knowledge that Egypt’s once strong Coptic Christian population is shrinking in the face of hostility and, sometimes, terrorist attacks from Islamic extremists.

“Some people are misinterpreting the Qu’ran,” Atsu says. “All religions have the same idea about loving your neighbour but what’s happening shows why it’s so important to educate our children properly. We have to teach them that everyone has to stick together and be one community.”

By way of emphasising that point he has recently been responsible for reuniting several impoverished families in Ghana after paying thousands of pounds in fines to release prisoners accused of petty offences.

The 27 year old was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and was also named in the team of the tournament for the 2017 AFCON in Gabon.