Coronavirus : Chelsea Legend Mikel Refuses To Play Against Istanbul Basaksehir
Published: March 16, 2020
Coronavirus : Chelsea Legend Mikel Refuses To Play Against Istanbul Basaksehir
Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel was an unused substitute as Trabzonspor were held to a 1-1 draw by Istanbul Basaksehir at the Medical Park Stadyumu (Trabzon) on Sunday afternoon, allnigeriasoccer.com reports.

According to Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo (via Milliyet), Mikel did not play the match because he refused to enter the pitch.

A day before the game between Trabzonspor and Istanbul Basaksehir, the 2013 AFCON winner took to Instagram to express his concerns over the coronavirus situation and called for the Turkish Super Lig to be postponed. 

"There is more to life than football. I do not feel comfortable and don’t want to play football in this situation," Mikel stated.

"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."

The fact that the central midfielder had started twelve of the last thirteen league games he was available for selection prior to the game against Istanbul Basaksehir gives credibility to the report from the Barcelona based newspaper.

In addition, Trabzonspor manager Huseyin Cimsir touched on the subject during his post-match press conference, saying that Mikel's decision is unconnected to the club but stressed that he respects the decision of the former Nigeria captain. 

The only other time Mikel did not taste action when he made the Trabzonspor matchday squad was more than six months ago in their 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel
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