Turkish football season suspended after Mikel’s exit

first_img Promoted ContentPortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D Graffiti6 Unusual Facts About Bollywood, Pollywood And TollywoodInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street ArtWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?Best & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?18 Cities With Neverending Tourist-FlowThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World Loading… Read Also:Mikel Obi quits Trabzonspor by mutual consent“We’re directed by and following what the government is doing and we have to adhere to what they’re saying. We need to realise that we can’t think normally in these circumstances – we’ve got to adapt to what’s happening.”For now that means the A-League’s one team from New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix, are having to relocate to Australia for the rest of the season – which has six rounds left – and undergo a 14-day quarantine.All their players have decided to come, including the Mexican Ulises Davila, who has opted to stay and complete the season rather than going back home to see his wife who has just given birth.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Turkey’s decision to call a halt to its football season due to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday comes hours after John Obi Mikel’s exit, meaning the sport has now been suspended in all of Europe, and practically the entire world, with Australia the exception. John Obi Mikel (R) in action for Trabzonspor — the Nigerian left the Turkish side this week because he did not want to play on during the coronavirus pandemic Despite the government in Ankara closing its land borders with Greece and Bulgaria, suspending air links with 20 countries and closing schools across the country, the Super Lig season had looked set to carry on behind closed doors. However, with three people having died and almost 200 cases reported in Turkey, the country’s sports minister said on Thursday that the football season would stop after the Turkish Football Federation came under fire for insisting games go ahead. “All football activities in Turkey have been suspended until further notice because of the continuous spread of coronavirus,” said a statement from the TFF. After their 0-0 derby draw with Istanbul rivals Besiktas behind closed doors last Sunday, Galatasaray players and staff hit out at what they called “a shameful evening”. “They took the decision to play behind closed doors,” said Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. “But what about the players? Do our lives not matter?” The club’s coach Fatih Terim added: “All the leading leagues around the world have been suspended. The truth is that this is about our lives. Everyone’s life is in danger.” Sports daily Fanatik reported that Besiktas had to persuade two of their foreign players – French forward Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and the American Tyler Boyd – to come to training on Monday. – Obi Mikel leaves – Meanwhile, former Nigeria international John Obi Mikel, once of Chelsea, quit Trabzonspor after saying he did not want to play on as the virus spread worldwide. “There is more to life than football. I do not feel comfortable and don’t want to play football in this situation,” Obi Mikel wrote on Instagram. Back in his homeland, the Nigerian season had been going on, with matches played on Wednesday, but the Nigerian Football Federation has now shut down all activities for at least the next four weeks. Action in Argentina, Mexico and Russia has stopped in the last couple of days too, with all sporting fixtures in Russia off until April 10. – ‘Right thing to keep going’ – However, there is set to be some soccer played this weekend, in Australia’s A-League, where fixtures are scheduled to go on, albeit behind closed doors. Australia is far from immune to the virus, and has sealed its borders, banning entry to anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident from Friday evening, with more than 700 cases confirmed. Despite that, the season continues, with leaders Sydney FC preparing for a derby against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday. “I think if the league can continue then it’s probably the right thing to keep going but how long we’ll go for will be determined by factors we cannot control,” said former Socceroo and now TV pundit, Robbie Slater.last_img read more

Rodgers: More to Reds than Gerrard

first_img The 33-year-old’s superb free-kick broke the deadlock in the 2-1 victory against a resolute Sunderland side in midweek to put him within one goal of club icon Kenny Dalglish’s tally of 172. To get close to such a number is testament to the England skipper’s quality and longevity and after nine goals in his last 13 matches, including four in his last four, he is enjoying his best Premier League goalscoring season since 2008-09 (when he scored 16 goals) with 11 playing in a midfield holding role. “When Luis was playing the team finished eighth and seventh (in the previous two seasons) so it is not just about one player, it is about creating a collective spirit and quality to our game and that is what we have done.” However, Gerrard remains their biggest presence on the pitch and the sight of him berating his defenders after they conceded a soft goal at a corner against the Black Cats, or audibly shouting at Raheem Sterling to “get it in the corner” as they tried to see out the game, highlighted that. “He is a guy who steps up in the big moments in games; when we need something special in the game the other night he stepped up and scored so there is no doubt people look to him – but it shouldn’t just be Steven’s responsibility,” said Rodgers. “You saw him the other night giving orders to the team, which is important because it is too late if you are in the changing room and have conceded a goal. “He is very short, sharp and concise with his information but his qualities are continual every day and it is not just at this point in time, his leadership is first class. “I think his status as one of the leading players in the world over the last number of years means he has that respect and I think you have seen from his performances he still has that big quality in his game.” Liverpool’s title chances will be tested again this weekend when Tottenham visit Anfield and while Rodgers has continually defended his squad’s ability to cope with the pressure he has now had to assess his own suitability due to his relative inexperience. “In terms of management this will have been my fifth season but I’ve been stood on the touchline for 20-odd years and this year I have been able to put into practise what I have been working on for many years,” said the 41-year-old. “Although there is still a lot for me to learn, it is not as if I am new to it. “Other squads have much greater depth and maybe better individuals than us but we are showing we are developing and we are looking to put something in place not just for one season. “We are looking for sustainable success and that might be different for other clubs. “If there is any pressure it is on other teams.” Press Association Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard continues to deliver in the big moments but manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side are no longer reliant on the midfielder – or anyone else – for inspiration. “It is incredible really,” said Rodgers of Gerrard moving close to equalling Dalglish. “Moving him back into that controlling position has not stopped his goal threat and he can dictate the game from behind. “For most of his career he has played as an attacking player and been one of the world-class players so to get to those numbers and to maybe equal someone of Kenny’s quality and status just shows you the true quality the guy has. “He has a few more years left to go yet to hopefully score more goals.” While Gerrard’s influence to Liverpool cannot be underestimated he has a number of players around him now which means he is not the sole source of inspiration and game-changer. Prior to Wednesday’s match Sunderland manager Gus Poyet suggested Liverpool would be a mid-table team – instead of second – without the 28 League goals of fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez. “That is probably quite disrespectful to the other players,” added the Reds boss. “In my time here we’ve had Luis out and won games, we’ve had Steven, (Philippe) Coutinho, (Daniel) Sturridge out and won games. last_img read more