Former captain of the Nigerian Super Eagles John Obi Mikel, fought back tears as he spoke about the abuse he and his family received on social media on Saturday, February 1.
Mikel received a lot of hateful and racist messages via his social media accounts. His wife Olga Diyachenko was also targeted.
The alleged abuse came after his team Trabzonspor defeated their arch-rival Fenerbahce 2-1. Turkish media detailed how abusive messages were sent to the player’s Instagram page. ‘including use of the N-word and banana emojis’.
During the match, Mikel was involved in a furious argument with Fenerbahce midfielder Emre Belozoglu at the final whistle, they ‘had to be separated by team-mates.’
In an emotional interview with Turkish TV, the former Chelsea midfielder opened up on about the abuse.
“A lot has been said about this – the issue of racism but since I’ve been here, my team and colleagues at Trabzonspor have been very nice to me, there’s not been any issue.” he told Turkish TV.
“After the game on Saturday, I started getting messages on my Instagram, even my girlfriend getting instant messages of racism and hatred.
“Very scary messages towards me and my family and kids. There’s no place for this.
“I don’t think this should be happening and I think these people should be held responsible. They shouldn’t be allowed to come to games.
“I’m very disappointed with this – especially my girlfriend, my family, my kids. They are only four years old, why do you talk about my kids?
“I am very sad about this, it’s a very disturbing time for me.”
His club, Trabzonspor have confirmed an official criminal complaint about racist abuse allegedly suffered by the former Chelsea midfielder.
In a statement released, Trabzonspor wrote: “Racism is a shelter for helpless and ignorant.
“We condemn the racist attacks against our player Obi Mikel after the match against Fenerbahce and we bring to the public attention that a criminal complaint has been filed against the assailants. #WeStandwithObi #SayNoToRacism”