Emmanuel Emenike controversy dates back more a decade, when he was arrested for kicking a football at a policeman in his homeland of Nigeria.
He moved to Turkey in 2009 signing a one year deal with Karabukspor. In May, 2011, he initiated a lawsuit against the newspaper ‘Haber Turk’ for what Emenike’s agents describe as “misleading” and “malicious” claim that Emenike’s age is 7 years different than is shown on his passport.
Later in May 2011, Emenike joined Fenerbahce for around €9 million. Just three months later he quickly moved to Russia after he was sold to Spartak Moscow for €10 million after he was arrested and released without charge in relation to a Turkish match fixing scandal. While playing in Russia he was fined US$17,000 for an offensive gesture towards Dynamo Moscow fans who racially abused him in a Russian league match. In a second incident was he red carded after scoring a goal against Zenit, he was sent off after making an ‘obscene’ gesture towards the opposition bench, which saw him tap him own arm as if making a heroin injection.
In December 2011 Emenike and several officials of his former club Fenerbahce were formally charged in an alleged match-fixing scandal in Turkey despite Emenike never making a first team appearance for them. Despite his re-arrest in 2012 he was later cleared of all charges in 2013.
Prosecutors alleged that Emenike missed Karabukspor’s clash Fenerbahce because of an injury he did not have. Shorn of their star man Karabukspor lost game 1-0, allowing Fenerbahce to win Turkish League title. It was further alleged Fenerbahce then signed him as repayment of that debt. A claim he strongly denied.
In 2013 Emenike returned to Fenerbahce for around €13 million. Last year Emenike stormed off the field after the striker was the victim of alleged abuse from his own fans in Turkey. Soon after missing a one on one chance with Besiktas’ Tolga Zengin Emenike was booed vociferously by his own fans, with allegations that some of the abuse was also racist. The Nigeria international angrily remove his shirt and marched towards the sidelines against rivals Besiktas. Fenerbahçe later denied claims that their striker was racially abused during their game against Besikstaks.
Before the 2015-2016 season started, Emenike was loaned to Al Ain FC on a one-year deal. He ended his loan deal after six months despite scoring nine goals in 15 appearances after a board member of the club, Mohammed Obeid Hamdoun accused the striker of not being committed.
Emenike played for the Nigerian team along side Victor Moses until recently, he announced his retirement from International football in October 2015. He announced his retirement by posting “After five great years, I am happy to announce that I have put full-stop to my National team career for the sake of national peace.”
Let’s just hope controversy doesn’t follow him to the Boleyn Ground if he joins and this is a new start for the talented player with a colourful past.