Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel
Wednesday Jul 04, 2018. 16:00
Nigerian skipper John Obi Mikel has revealed that his father was kidnapped just before their 2018 FIFA World Cup clash against Argentina last week.
The Super Eagles midfielder said he did not want to divulge the news because that would have destabilised the camp.
According to reports, the incident happened a couple of hours before kick-off and the kidnappers demanded N10 Million ($28,000 US) for his safe return.
“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.
“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.”
Moreover, police managed to rescue Mikel’s father and he is now safe among his family members, Superintendent of Police Ebere Amaraizu said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The abductors started calling to demand a ransom of N10 million before police operatives acted on intelligence information and swooped on them,” said Amaraizu.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Mikel’s dad was kidnapped seven years ago and security is now expected to be enhanced on Mikel’s family in Nigeria.