February 4 – Turkish club Trabzonspor have filed a criminal complaint after former Nigerian international captain John Obi Mikel was the target of racist abuse from Fenerbahce supporters on Sunday.
Scores of Turkish citizens flocked to social media late Monday with the hashtag ‘#WeStandWithObi’ trending across Twitter in support of Mikel whose team came from a goal down to defeat their fellow title chasers 2-1.
A picture on Instagram posted by Mikel celebrating the win prompted a torrent of abuse from Fenerbahce fans with his profile receiving scores of messages including use of the N-word and banana emojis.
Trabzonspor, through its lawyers, extracted the insults and have filed a suit against the fans in a rare reactive measure.
In a statement, the club said: “Racism is a refuge for helpless and ignorant people. We condemn the racist attacks on our player Mikel after the Fenerbahce match. We present to the public that we filed a criminal complaint against the attackers.”
It wasn’t only the fans who apparently targeted Mikel who had to be restrained by his teammates after the game as a result of allegedly being insulted by Fenerbahce’s Emre Belozoglu. “Emre swore at me and my family, I cannot accept this,” Mikel, who joined in the summer, told local media afterwards.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org