Obi Mikel's Father Kidnapped and Rescued

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(WFI) Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has revealed that he played against Argentina during the World Cup knowing that his father had been kidnapped.

Mikel says he received a call from the kidnappers four hours before kickoff in the decisive World Cup clash in St Petersburg last week. He was told not to tell the authorities about the abduction or else his father would be executed. The ransom set for his father, Michael Obi, was the equivilent of $28,000 dollars. 

The kidnapping took place while Michael Obi was on his way to a funeral on June 26.

Nigeria’s captain has told ESPN "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; I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first.

One week after being abducted, Mikel's father and his driver were rescued by police after a reported "gun duel" last Monday.

In a statement, Superintendent of Police Ebere Amaraizu described the rescue. “The abductors started calling to demand a ransom before police operatives acted on intelligence information and swooped on them. In the process of the rescue, a gun duel ensued between police operatives and the kidnappers which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued.”

Sources said that Mikel’s father had been tortured during the ordeal and required stitches for his wounds. 

The veteran midfielder insists that he tried to put his personal problem aside.

"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."

Nigeria ended up losing 2-1 to Argentina which meant the end of the Super Eagles in the tournament.

Homepage photo (@mikel_john_obi)

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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