Mikel Obi: We Had Africa Union Meeting AT Chelsea
Former Chelsea player, John Mikel Obi has disclosed who the African players at the club during his time used to held Africa Union meetings after a match.
The Former Super Eagles captain who marked his 34th birthday on Thursday, April 22nd noted that Africa players who plied their trade in the English Premiership lived like a family.
Mikel who currently plays for English Championship side, Stoke City said that despite the rivalries that existed among the Africa players in the field of play, he has made lots of friends from his time in England and described them as ‘a family’
“Playing football is special, you end up being friends with guys from Ghana, South Africa, Cote d’ivoier. Whichever Footballer that comes from your continent that plays in the same league as you. You automatically become family, despite myself coming from Nigeria, Footballers from Africa they became my family in Premier league.
“Yes, on the pitch football fans see us as Rivalries because we are on duty, but they don’t know that we had an African union during football breaks. I today have families across Africa not by blood but by our origin.
During our time at Chelsea we had an African union meetings whenever we had a long term break, we eat, fist together and discuss African Affairs. This is when I realized that football can unity us as Africans.
Mikel who played alongside Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou of Côte d’Ivoire as well as Michael Essien of Ghana, expressed sadness that ordinary citizens in Africa do not have the privilege of seeing one another as a family
“But it’s sad that ordinary citizens they don’t have this privilege to come together from different African countries and be family. We all have something in common but just from different boarders.
“Today I can go to South Africa and sleep at Benni McCarthy’s house without paying bills and he can do the same if i am in Nigeria. No quarrel, simply because we connected in a foreign land as Footballers missing home and decided to be our own families to close that homesick gap “
Mikel helped Nigeria win her 3rd Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 as well as winning two Premier League cups, one Champions and Europa Leagues cups as well as four FA Cups during is time at Chelsea.