Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel faced Argentina last Tuesday in the knowledge that his father was being held for ransom, but did not tell anyone about it as the kidnappers threatened to shoot “instantly” if authorities were informed.
Mikel told KweséESPN that he received a call from the kidnappers four hours before kickoff in the decisive World Cup clash in St Petersburg, and they demanded N10 Million ($28,000 US) for the safe return of his father, Pa Michael Obi.
Mikel, speaking to KweséESPN after the rescue, said that he did not tell his bosses at the Nigeria Football Federation, nor did he tell his coach Gernot Rohr, but instead kept the situation to himself and opted to face Lionel Messi’s team as if nothing was amiss.
“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,” Mikel said.
“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 lost that game 2-1 to Argentina and were eliminated from the World Cup. Luckily his father is alright, and has been marked safe.
Our men have rescued Pa Michael Obi, the father of the Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi.
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.
— EnuguStatePolice (@PoliceNG_Enugu) July 2, 2018