Emmanuel Emenike joined West Ham on a six-month loan from Istanbul giants Fenerbahce last month but what few Hammers fans will know is that the Nigerian international spent some time in a Turkish jail while in Turkey.
Yes Emenike did time for alleged involvement in the match fixing scandal that rocked Turkey in 2011 – although all charges were later dropped and the Nigerian international as well as Fenerbahce were found not guilty after a lengthy legal battle.
After breaking onto the scene at Karabükspor he was snapped up by Fenerbahçe for €9 million in 2011 but sold to Spartak Moscow for €10 million the same summer due to being implicated in a match-fixing scandal.
“I was treated like a common criminal,” Emenike told Taiwo Alimi in The Nation. “I cried like a baby because it was strange to me.”
“At a point, the trauma was so much for me to bear, so I had to go for counselling. After I was released, it was difficult for me to concentrate. There was no way I could remain with Fenerbahce and be focused.”
The Nigerian international was later cleared of all charges and eventually returned to the Istanbul giants two-seasons later for €13 million.
Ironically Emenike played for Lokomotiv Moscow rivals Spartak Moscow who were at the time coached by current Hammers boss Slaven Bilic.
Bilic also knew the Nigerian international from his time coaching Fenerbahce rivals Fenerbahce during his two-year stint in Turkey.