Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel
Chelsea confirmed that John Obi Mikel has closed his account on social networking website Twitter after receiving racial abuse following the 2-2 draw with Juventus on Wednesday evening.
The midfielder was at fault for the Italians' equalizer, as his misplaced pass allowed Fabio Quagliarella in to deny the Blues all three points in their opening Champions League Group E game.
That error led to several racist tweets being directed at the Nigeria international, something which the west London club has now condemned.
Chelsea wrote on Twitter: “Abuse on social networks is abhorrent. Racist tweets towards Mikel are totally unacceptable. Police informed. #CFC supports strongest action.”
Two hours earlier, the Stamford Bridge side had tweeted to deny reports that the 25-year-old had been targeted through the site but has now been forced to backtrack.
The original tweet read: “Not true Mikel quit Twitter due to messages received. He'd wanted to leave for a while & deleted his acct today without looking at it. #CFC”
Mikel accepted full responsibility for his mistake after Wednesday's game, telling Sky Sports, “'I'm disappointed, it was my pass and I over-hit it.”
The holders blew a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge, with a pair of defensive blunders costing them dearly against the Italian champions.
Having allowed Juve to get back into the Group E clash before half-time, Chelsea looked set to eke out a 2-1 win before Mikel needlessly gave the ball away 10 minutes from time.
He then failed to prevent Claudio Marchisio playing Fabio Quagliarella into space for the equaliser, with David Luiz also all at sea.
"If I want to make up an excuse, I can," Mikel said. "But, for me, I gave the ball away. I put my hands up, we move on. I'm sorry about the mistake, but there are no excuses."
He admitted that Chelsea ought to have beaten Juventus but for lapses in concentration.
"We didn't win the game due to lack of concentration, we gave away very cheap goals especially the second goal. We should have stopped the move (that led to the goal) but we lost ourselves at that moment,” Mikel said.
“We also had chances to score a third goal and kill the game but that didn't happen, maybe we were not lucky enough to score more.
"We started the game on a very good footing, scoring two good goals and we are dictating the pace of the game.
“It was a very good game and both teams gave a good account of themselves. We knew it was not going to be an easy match and we gave it all and deserved to win but unfortunately we could not. It has ended in a draw.”
Manager Roberto Di Matteo admitted Chelsea only had themselves to blame for the defeat.
‘The Blues’ are now looking forward to their next game against Danish club Nordjaelland on October 2.
The other Group E match between Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine and Nordjaelland ended with Shakhtar winning 2-0.