Super Eagles of Nigeria Captain John Obi Mikel has revealed to the press that his father was kidnapped in Nigeria four hours before Nigeria’s last group game against Argentina at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The former Chelsea man said though he was devastated on hearing the news, he could not let 180million Nigerians down, as he had to shut-out the thought and focus on the game at hand to represent the country, which to him comes first.
The former Chelsea player who now plays in China there was no way he could have let Nigerians down by abandoning the match even though his father was still being held at a gunpoint and a threat of killing him if he says anything to anybody or authorities. He said he received a call from home and the unidentified kidnappers were demanding for N10million ransom for his father Pa. Michael Obi to be released.
John Obi Mikel who came under heavy criticism after Nigeria lost their first group game against Croatia for his poor performance, is undergoing this trauma all over again, as this will not be the first time his family members are being kidnapped for ransom. But explaining how difficult it was for him and family during those periods his father was in the hands of the kidnappers, said:
“I did not want to discuss my personal issue it with the coach or the Football Federation so that it does not become a distraction for 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”
Pa. Michael Obi have since been rescued and will be undergoing some medical treatment abroad. But nothing was said about whether or not a ransom was paid, but a source said he was rescued along Udi forest in Enugu which is the Eastern part of Nigeria, John Obi Mikel is from.