Chelsea/Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel quit Twitter after racist abuse

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has quit Twitter after racist messages and other abuse was sent to him on the social network.

The club initially moved to deny he had terminated his account on the basis of receiving any communications but later condemned 'unacceptable' Tweets and said the police had been informed.

'Not true Mikel quit Twitter due to messages received. He'd wanted to leave for a while & deleted his account today without looking at it,' Chelsea wrote on their official club Twitter account.

They added: 'Abuse on social networks is abhorrent. Racist tweets towards Mikel are totally unacceptable. Police informed. #CFC supports strongest action.'

The Nigerian had been bombarded with these vulgar messages after making a mistake which contributed to Chelsea's downfall against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Chelsea were leading 2-1 when Mikel's sloppy pass returned the ball to the Italians, who went on to score through Fabio Quagliarella and salvage a point.

The 25-year-old is a player who has long split Chelsea fans' opinion, with many lauding him for his defensive graft while others bemoan his lack of creativity.

On this occasion the abuse went far beyond general football complaints.

A disappointed Mikel had apologised for his mistake after the match.

'If I want to make up an excuse, I can,' he 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.'