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The football world has been drawn in to Covid-19, as the virus seems to be hampering football at the moment.
Chelsea hero John Mikel Obi joined Turkish side Trabzonspor as a free agent on a two-year deal last summer, at the end of his brief stint in the Championship with Middlesbrough.
However, Mikel has departed Trabzonspor just days after criticising the Turkish football authorities over their failure to suspend the Turkish league despite the spread of coronavirus.
Trabzonspor is currently top of the league and have a good chance ending as champions, but Mikel isn’t interested in that and has decided to leave, claiming that life is more important than football.
Meanwhile, Nigerian football chief Patrick Pascal has thrown his weight behind Mikel’s decision to leave Trabzonspor amid coronavirus fears, insisting that his life is more valuable.
“Mikel values his life more than anything and like he said recently ‘there is more to life than football’. He has achieved and saved a lot, so, it will be silly if he loses all to coronavirus and people who don’t have an idea about his wealth would pounce on it,” Pascal told Goal.
“He knows what he wants and in my association with him over the years, he is someone who doesn’t compromise or prioritizes anything over his life. Not even under this deadly virus taking over the world.
“Some will not agree with him on this, but let me set the record straight that Mikel is neither playing for money nor fame, but strictly for fun and for the love of the beautiful game. So why will he expose himself to a danger that has killed a lot of people?”
When asked about Mikel missing out on the title, Pascal replied: “My brother, titles are not won in the grave, only the living does that.
“At Chelsea, he won the Champions League and other bigger titles, so not winning the Turkish league title is not a big deal. He is not playing for fame, so you don’t expect him to risk his life.
“I am 100% in support of him leaving Trabzonspor at this critical period and it’s a very noble decision. Remember, leaving Turkey is not the end of his playing career as he can go elsewhere to play.
“I believe him and I trust his judgment and as a young man who has bigger things to accomplish after football, it is safety first.”