John Mikel Obi Reacts Following His Contract Termination With Turkish Super Lig Club Tranbzanspor.

Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi has reacted following his contract termination with Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor, revealing that he was asked to meet the club president to take down the post he made on social media, asking the Turkish Super Lig chiefs to cancel matches due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mikel's refusal to take down the post led to his mutual contract termination with the Turkish club after spending close to a year with the club.

The former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder speaking in an interview with The Atletic said it was one if the hardest decision he had to make;

“They were really upset about the whole thing. I was told to meet with the president in his office one-on-one. He asked me to take it down (the post). I told him I wasn’t going to do that. It’s my opinion. This is how I feel. We live in a free world. I have freedom of speech. I can express my opinion.

“I wanted to win the league too but at this point in time, we have to think about what is more important: to save peoples’ lives.
“I want to help in any way that I can to defeat this virus. For us to be out there playing; I don’t think we are helping the global situation. I don’t feel it is right for us to play football.

“UEFA have postponed football. How come they are still playing in Turkey? It’s not right at all. But Trabzonspor were not having it — for me, they don’t care.
“I told them I wanted to go home. They said, ‘If you go home, you’re not coming back.’ I said, ‘OK, I’m going home.’

“I explained to the club that I needed to see and be with my kids. They were calling me every single morning, crying on the phone, wondering why their friends were not coming over for playdates, why they can’t touch anyone on the street. I didn’t feel happy every morning lying to my kids, making up stories to explain why in order to try not to make them panic (about COVID-19).

“I knew if I came home, they’d be relaxed because they’d then know daddy was home. I told the club, ‘OK, if that’s what you’re saying, I’m ready to give up my contract. To be with my family, to help the world to do the right thing — everybody needs to stay at home at this point in time’

“I have taken a financial hit by taking this stance. It is worth every single penny, I’m telling you. To see my kids happy and fine, to know we will survive this together; the only way we can beat this is by being at home with your family, taking care of your family, your neighbour.

“I was doing so well, playing every week. The team was winning, top of the league. We were playing well. I was enjoying my football out there. We had a chance to win the league but I gave that all up to do the right thing.”

Mikel thanked his teammates, technical crew, medical team and kit men of the club for all they have achieved this season so far, and wished them the best of luck in winning the league title.

“I am looking forward to my next chapter. I don’t know where it’s going to be. I want to be closer to home, somewhere in England maybe. But we will see what happen".. . Concluded the 32-year-old who also vowed that in his lifetime he would never to return to Trabzonspor again following the manner at which they dealth with the situation.

The 2013 AFCON winner has now  gone home in London to be with his daughters, to take care of the family, stay with them and protect them.

Meanwhile, the Super Lig has been suspended by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) on Thursday, barely 5 days after the Mikel Obi incident, having had 191 cases of the virus were recorded in the country.

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