John Obi Mikel, former Nigeria captain and Chelsea player, has ended his contract with club Trabzonspor in Turkey after the country’s top-flight football competition Super Lig continued amid coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - ‘Ja Ja Re Coronavirus’: Indian Band Composes COVID-19 Awareness Song With a Rajasthani Folk Touch
Mikel on Saturday had expressed his reservations over the decision to continue playing matches even behind closed doors through an Instagram posts which invited supportive comments from fellow Chelsea alumni Radamel Falcao and Didier Drogba. Also Read - IPL 100 Per Cent Possible if Coronavirus Pandemic is Contained by October: Ashish Nehra
On Wednesday, Trabzonspor released a statement that the two parties have ended contract with mutual consent. Also Read - Covid-19 Warriors: MP Doctor Turns His Car Into a Temporary Home To Protect His Family From Coronavirus
“The professional football player agreement between our company and John Obi Mikel has been mutually terminated. With the mutual termination agreement, the football player gave up all his future earnings,” Trabzonspor said in a statement.
“There is more to life than football,” Mikel had written on his official Instagram account on Saturday registering his protest. “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. Season should be cancelled as the world is facing such turbulent times.”
Football seasons in England, France, Germany and Spain have been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus. On Tuesday, it was announced UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 Championships till next year.
Meanwhile Turkish Basketball Super League players have released a joint statement 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,” the statement read. “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.”