Former Chelsea and Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel has dumped his Turkish club, Trabzonspor as Turkey refused to suspend league as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Although the news of Mikel dumping the club is said to be by mutual consent, it comes days after we reported that the Eagles ex-captain had frowned at his Turkish club and football authorities for not suspended the league like other European Leagues.
Mikel as we reported, had taken to his social media account to say:
““There is more to life than football. I do not feel comfortable and don’t want to play football in this situation. Everyone should be home with their families and loved ones in this critical time. The season should be cancelled as the world is facing such turbulent times,” he said.
The message although coming from a good place, did not go down well with some Turkish fans (Trabzonspor fans), as they trooped to his comment section to register their disappointment, one of the fans said:
“King we are so close to be champion after a long time and we have to, so just make your best and pray for people who are sick”
Another one said:
“Are you fucking kidding me? Do you know in what city you live? If you don’t want to play go f**cking Home”
“You can go if you don’t want to, no one can hold you hard, but we are willing to die for that jersey, and you don’t appreciate that jersey, so I’ll give my life to wear that jersey, you are still talking about fear”
“Don’t panic you are not in Europe in Turkey are only 5 persons with corona. We as normal people do our job you also must do your job for my opinion” another had said.
Mikel Obi signed for the Turkish side in 2019 after leaving Championship side Middlesbrough. The retired Super Eagles player signed 2-years agreement with a one-year option to transfer to our club, and he has done well with the club since joining.
Mikel on Wednesday, released a statement confirming his departure from the Turkish club, where he thanked the fans, the management for their support, saying:
“I would like to thank all the fans for their support. I also want to say thanks to all my teammates, technical crew, medical team and kit men Ayatabe 😉 🚬 for all we’ve achieved this season so far, wish you guys best of luck in winning the league🏆. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but in current situation we all need take care of our families, spend time with them and protect them. #lifefirst #stayhome #family,” he said.
Mikel also gave up his wages in order to become a free agent.
The number of coronavirus cases in Turkey stood at six at the time of Mikel’s post, though it has now leapt to 47.
The government has ramped up measures to halt its spread, closing schools and universities, holding sports events without spectators and halting flights to many countries.
Meanwhile, players from Galatasaray’s basketball team released a joint statement urging the Turkish Basketball Super League to suspend games.
“We appreciate the Turkish government has taken measures to slow down the spread of the virus however we find it quite bizarre that we keep playing, despite it being behind closed doors,” they said.
“We have seen how hesitation to take extreme action has provoked a spike in cases in neighbouring countries and we believe now is the time to take extreme action.”