“When I was appointed some journalists didn’t think I spoke English” Mike Emenalo narrates his experience as Chelsea’s Technical Director

Mike Emenalo erstwhile Technical Director of Chelsea FC and Nigeria Super Eagle at the world cup in 1994 had narrated his experience as the Technical Director of Chelsea football club.

His story brings to mind the Chinua Achebe quote “Until lions begin to tell their stories, the legend of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”.

In a ninety minutes interview with Guardian Sport, the 55 year old talked about racism and other challenges he faced.

“I had to choose whether I would let my activism be a distraction or allow my presence to be an inspiration. Some people were waiting for me to become an activist so that was very difficult for me.”

“I don’t think my story was told the right way to influence the attention. I feel my aptitude and competence has not been presented correctly. And now people are co-opting my work and trying to mask my contribution.”

When I was appointed [as technical director] some journalists didn’t think I spoke English. They said I had never played the game [Emenalo won 14 caps for Nigeria and marked Diego Maradona and Roberto Baggio in the 1994 World Cup].

Some people said: ‘Why did this Russian owner, who knows thousands and thousands of people, confide in him? He’s African so he must have killed somebody for the owner.’ No one stopped to think it could possibly be because of my intellect or experience.” Emenalo said

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