You Get Threatened By Your Own Blood When You Stop Offering Financial Assistance – Obi Mikel

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Mikel says players could even be emotionally blackmailed.

Dubai, UAE – Mediaage NG News – Former Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder, John Mikel Obi has claimed that some players are “threatened by their own blood” if they do not offer financial assistance.

While speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with FIVE, he said African footballers are effectively subject to an extra tax as they often support extended families and hangers-on back home.

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“When you come from Africa – and this is something I don’t think we speak a lot about – when you make money, it is not your money,” said Mikel.

“You have all these relatives, cousins, whatever.

“Your sisters, they go off and get married to some guy. He just wants to get married into John Obi Mikel’s family because then [he thinks] ‘my life is sorted’.

“You start looking after this guy and you send money to your sister and the money goes to him and he does whatever he does with it.

“This is the thing nobody knows about – your money is not your money.

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“You get a salary and say ‘I’ll put this aside for this person, put that aside for that person, and put that aside for my mum and dad’. Before you know it, you are getting less than them.

“That is the culture. They expect you to do that. For them, you owe them.

“This story needs to be told. A lot of young African players that are coming up now need to be told this because they will go through similar situations.

“They will need to know how to deal with this.”

Mikel says players have to be strong if they decide to stop assisting others financially, as there can be a backlash.

“Sometimes you have to say ‘Enough is enough, I don’t care’. For me that moment came about five years ago,” the 36-year-old added.

“I said ‘No more’, because I have been doing this since I started playing football.

“You become the bad guy. They stop answering your phone calls. They are used to calling you – not to check up on you but to ask ‘What are you giving me?’.

“You have to be strong enough. I was giving so much to the family. All you do is keep giving and they are so comfortable that they expect you to do that for the rest of your life.”

Mikel says players could even be emotionally blackmailed.

“They give you this thing whereby ‘If you don’t do it [pay], we are going to go to the press. You are thinking, ‘You are family. After all I’ve done for you guys?’.

“In Africa not everybody comes out and speaks about this, because we think ‘How are we going to talk about this?’.

“You get threatened by your own blood.”

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