John Obi Mikel quits Twitter after Chelsea fans' racist abuse
Trolls attack Chelsea midfielder after error in Juventus Champions League game led to a goal for the visitors
CHELSEA midfielder John Obi Mikel has closed down his Twitter account after being subjected to a torrent of racial abuse. The Nigerian star gave away possession to Juventus ten minutes from time in Wednesday's night Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge.
Juventus then swept upfield with substitute Fabio Quagliarella drilling the ball past Petr Cech to ensure the game finished 2-2.
"I'm sorry about the mistake, but there are no excuses," said Mikel afterwards, adding: "If I want to make up an excuse, I can. But, for me, I gave the ball away. I put my hands up, we move on."
But moving on was the last thing on the minds of some Chelsea fans. Instead they targeted the 25-year-old's Twitter account (@Mikel12Official), posting racist and offensive messages. Mikel closed down the site within 24 hours.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea initially said it was coincidental and there had been nothing sinister about Mikel's decision to pull the plug on the account he began in the summer.
But Chelsea have since admitted that Mikel, who joined the club in 2006, did quit the social networking site because of abuse. In a statement they added: "We've been made aware of racist tweets targeted at Mikel which are totally unacceptable, disgusting and abhorrent. We've informed the police and support taking the strongest possible action."
Meanwhile, The Sun reports that officials from Manchester United have told the team that every player must shake hands with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez when the teams clash on Sunday. Last season the South American striker was banned for eight games after racially abusing United defender Patrice Evra. Suarez then compounded his offence by refusing to shake Evra's hand in the return fixture.
But according to The Sun, all players from both sides will shake hands on Sunday in what will be the first match at Anfield since the release last week of the Hillsborough report. "On a day such as Sunday, which is bound to be full of all kinds of emotion, no one wants anything to happen that will tarnish the match," a United insider is quoted as saying. "Luis and Patrice will shake hands just as every other player will shake hands."