Trabzonspor’s president, Ahmet Agaoglu ordered midfielder Obi Mikel to take down his Instagram posts, the former Chelsea ace has revealed.
Mikel's contract with Trabzonspor was terminated on mutual consent after the former Chelsea man had called out on Turkish authorities for not suspending the league due to the spread of Covid-19. The 32-year-old posted on his Instagram account, slamming the Turkish football authorities for not suspending the league despite the pandemic outbreak.
In his interview with Athletic, Mikel has revealed, the club's president ordered him to take down his comments.
"They were really upset about the whole thing. I was told to meet with the president (Agaoglu) in his office one-on-one. He (Agaoglu) asked me to take it down (the Instagram post)," he said.
"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 has 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’"
The 32-year-old made 19 league appearances for Trabzonspor before termination of his contract.