The Wigan star believes there’s a chance he could have contracted the dreadful coronavirus, but he is now fine even though he never got tested.
The virus which birthed in China has killed almost 200,000 people worldwide, and Balogun feared he caught the disease after displaying some of its symptoms last month.
In an extensive story on Players Tribune, Balogun says he never knew how bad the issue is until it started to affect Football.
Several leagues are currently on suspension while the UEFA Champions League and Europa League games have been postponed until further notice.
The Euros and Copa America set to hold in June this year have also been shifted for a year. It was also during the time football got affected that Balogun feared he caught the virus.
Talking about his story to the players’ tribune, Balogun said; “The week after we played Luton, the virus was forcing games in the Champions League and the Europa League to be called off.”
We were preparing to play away to Huddersfield 14 March. On the Wednesday before the game, I began to feel unwell. I was thinking, This is odd. Did I not just go through this? I shouldn’t be feeling like this again.
Could I have caught the virus? I had recently taken the train from London to Manchester. Had something happened on the train?
On the Thursday I felt O.K., but still not 100%. When I woke up on Friday morning, the lymph nodes under my arms were swollen. I felt off.
I went into training without shaking anyone’s hand, just in case I had the virus. The night before, Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal coach, had tested positive. When the medical staff saw me, they said, “Mate, just go home. The games are gonna get called off anyway.”
Could I have caught the virus? I went home and tried to relax. I called my teammates. None of them knew what was going on.
A few hours later there was a statement from the Premier League and the Championship: All games that weekend were off.
However, while there were fears he may have contracted the virus, Balogun said he has fully recovered, although he never got tested.
Over the next few days, I felt ill. I had a slight fever, I was coughing. But it was nothing crazy. So yeah … in the end I was not too worried.
But I was never tested. Did I have it or not? I still don’t know.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria international believes despite the number of casualties recorded, his countrymen back at home are not taking the virus, and some even believe it’s a rich man’s disease.
“So when COVID-19 was breaking out, Nigerians were not taking it as seriously as people in Europe,” Balogun said.
Even though I was born in Germany, I play for the Nigerian national team, and recently they asked me and some other players if we could post some videos online just to spread awareness among Nigerians about how dangerous the virus is.
Someone has told me that, in one area of Nigeria, they have been saying, “Ah, this virus is for rich people, it has nothing to do with us.” It’s at that level.