Trabzonspor have condemned the "ignorant people" responsible for racially abusing John Obi Mikel after their win against Fenerbahce at the weekend.
Obi Mikel played the full 90 minutes as his side earned a hard-fought 2-1 win against the Istanbul giants. It was a heated match, with Luiz Gustavo sent off late on for dissent and Fenerbahce midfielder Emre Belozoglu seen arguing with a furious Obi Mikel after the final whistle.
Belozoglu and Obi Mikel had to be separated by team-mates at the end of the game, having been involved in a running battle in the midfield. Belozoglu has captained the Turkish national team but is a controversial figure even in his home country, having previously been accused of racially abusing opponents.
Obi Mikel has since been the target of racist slurs on social media, prompting Trabzonspor to issue a statement on Twitter which reads: "Racism is a refuge for helpless and ignorant people. Our player, [John] Obi Mikel, condemns the racist insults after the Fenerbahce match. We present to the public that we have filed a criminal complaint against the offenders."
Screengrabs circulated on social media show explicit racial abuse allegedly sent to Obi Mikel via Instagram. He has not addressed the abuse himself, with his last post on the platform reading: "Great victory tonite [sic], amazing team spirit... thank you to our amazing fans."
Irkçılık, acizler ve cahiller için bir sığınaktır. Futbolcumuz Obi Mikel'e Fenerbahçe maçından sonra yapılan ırkçı saldırıları kınıyor; saldırganlar hakkında suç duyurusunda bulunduğumuzu kamuoyunun bilgisine sunuyoruz. #SeninleyizObi #WeStandwithObi #SayNotoRacism pic.twitter.com/nna9O0RXP6— Trabzonspor Kulübü (@Trabzonspor) February 3, 2020
Trabzonspor's win came courtesy of goals from on-loan Crystal Palace forward Alexander Sorloth and Filip Novak, which cancelled out Max Kruse's opener in the first minute.
The result saw them leapfrog Fenerbahce into third in the Turkish Super Lig, with their opponents now in fifth. Obi Mikel and Co. have a game in hand on the top two and, if they win that match, they could go top of the table on goal difference.
He joined Trabzonspor after being released by Middlesbrough last summer, linking up with several other former Premier League players on the Black Sea coast including Sorloth and Daniel Sturridge.