Juan Muller, a 23-year-old footballer from Ghana, had to make the transit area of the Mumbai airport home for 72 days after the Indian government cancelled all international flights following the coronavirus outbreak, as per several reports.
Muller came to Kerala in November last year to play in the lucrative Sevens Football of the state. His aim was to earn some quick money and go back gome to support his family. However, with the coronavirus pandemic putting a stop to almost everything, his plans were dealt a severe blow.
As the lockdown was imposed, the Ghanian youngster decided it would best to return home and booked a flight ticket for March 30 from Mumbai to Ghana via Kenya. The government, though, proceeded to cancel all international flights without notice which meant Muller was left stranded at the airport.
He was forced to live in the transit area of the Mumbai airport from March 21 - for 72 days – before he was finally taken to a hotel in Bandra when Shiv Sena Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the president of the Mumbai District Football Association, saw his tweet asking for help.
The authorities at the Ghanaian High Commission in New Delhi have now been intimated and are trying to arrange for his return trip.
Muller, who played for a number of clubs in Thrissur, including the Kechery-based ORPC Sports Club, told Manorama, “I could not find a place to stay as all the hotels and dormitories in the city were closed down. I approached the Mumbai Police who advised me to go to the airport and stay there… I was surviving on snacks and bread offered by the airport staff when the local football authorities came to my rescue and took me to a hotel in Bandra.”