Randy Juan Mueller, 23, is on a six-month contract this week. Migrated to India in November Football for ORPC Sports Club in Kerala, South India.
As the coronavirus epidemic spread, Mueller booked a flight to Ghana on March 30. He took a train to Mumbai a week before the flight.
“I heard about the possibility of a lockdown in India … so I came to Mumbai to stay in a dormitory so I wouldn’t miss my flight,” Muller said. Although he arrived in Mumbai on March 21, he was short of cash and struggled to find a home.
“I didn’t know anyone (in Mumbai) so I saw some cops and told them my story. They told me to go to the airport,” Mueller said.
Three days later, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Arrivals and departures of all international flights were canceled.
Muller decided to sleep in the departure lounge of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport until international flights resumed. However, the lockdown is being extended.
“The people at the airport were very helpful. They fed me and helped me a lot,” Mueller said. Even a security guard replaced his phone after it was damaged.
Muller called the Ghanaian consulate in Mumbai but said there was nothing they could do during the lockdown.
“I never worried because I knew I would be home one day,” he said. “I’ve tried to be strong and inspired … there are things in life that you can never change.”
Mueller’s ordeal Reached the end In early June, he applied on Twitter on the advice of a security officer.
A local journalist who viewed his tweets shared his pleas for help and tagged state Tourism and Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray, who is also the president of the Mumbai District Football Association. Thackeray is also the son of state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Within hours, Mueller was taken from the airport to a hotel where he would stay until he had a chance to board the flight home.
His football contract is now over, but his ordeal did not prevent him from returning to India.
“I went out of the house to feed,” he says. “I’d like to come back if I get another contract.”