Saturday Mar 21, 2020. 12:00
Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel has explained why he quit Turkish Super League club Trabzonspor earlier this week.
The former Super Eagles captain parted ways with the team after he posted, on social media, complaints that the league should not be continuing amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Mikel revealed that he received threats from Trabzonspor if he did not remove the post, and felt that being backed into a corner left him with no choice but to terminate his contract with the club.
“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,” Mikel is quoted by The Times.
“That’s what happened and they said, ‘If you go, you’re not coming back.’
“They wanted to threaten me and I said, ‘If that’s what you want to do then fine, I will cancel the contract. I will go and be with my family.”
Mikel’s £35,000-a-week deal was set to run until 2021, with the chance of extending for a further year beyond that.
He added: “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.”