Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel reveals kidnapping of father during 2018 FIFA World Cup
Posted: 3 July 2018 Time: 14:25
Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel revealed that his father was kidnapped and held for ransom hours before their 2-1 defeat to Argentina at the FIFA World Cup.
In a heart-wrenching interview with ESPN, Mikel revealed the kidnappers demanded N10 Million (R383k) for the safe return of his father, Pa Michael Obi - and threatened to 'instantly' shoot him if he reported the matter to the authorities.
His father was said to be adducted a week ago the call was made to the former Chelsea star just four hours before their crucial World Cup fixture with the last-16 berth on the line.
After being rescued by police after a 'gun duel', the veteran Super Eagles midfielder opened up about the horrific experience of not being able to talk about the ordeal, even to manager Gernot Rohr.
"I was confused. I did not know what to do, but in the end I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down," he said.
"I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first. I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody.
"And I did not want to discuss it with the coach because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to the coach or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game.
"So as much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not do it."
Our men have rescued Pa Michael Obi, the father of the Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi.— EnuguStatePolice (@PoliceNG_Enugu) July 2, 2018
He was kidnapped along Markurdi - Enugu expressway but we rescued him today 2nd July, 2018 around 14:00hrs at Egede in Udi LGA of Enugu State.
He is hale and hearty.