John Obi Mikel played on for Nigeria after kidnappers said his father would be shot 'instantly' if he reported incident - MRCAESAR.COM

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

John Obi Mikel played on for Nigeria after kidnappers said his father would be shot 'instantly' if he reported incident


John Obi Mikel in action against Argentina, hours after discovering his father had been kidnapped - REUTERS
John Obi Mikel in action against Argentina, hours after discovering his father had been kidnapped - REUTERS
John Obi Mikel played in Nigeria’s World Cup defeat to Argentinadespite having just been told his father was being held for ransom and would be shot “instantly” if he alerted the authorities.
Mikel revealed on Tuesday he had received a call four hours before kick off in his country’s final Group D game from kidnappers demanding 10 million Nigerian naira (£21,100) for the safe return of Pa Michael Obi.
Former Chelsea midfielder Mikel kept quiet about the news, which was only revealed almost a week later when Enugu State Police announced on Monday night that his father had been rescued earlier that day.
That followed what the force described as a “gun duel” with the kidnappers.
According to Kwes√©ESPN, Mikel’s father was then hospitalised having been tortured, with his son considering flying him abroad for further treatment.
The best aerial photography from the World Cup
Astonishingly, this was the second time Mikel had played a game after being told his father had been kidnapped, the first being almost seven years earlier in a Premier League match between Chelsea and Stoke City.
He even made a televised plea for the safe return of his father, who was found alive just over a week later.
Speaking about last week’s abduction for the first time, the Nigeria captain said: “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. 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.”
World Cup 2018 Anthems Ranked
Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat saw them eliminated from the World Cup and Mikel flew to England, where he still has a home, to deal with the crisis.
Enugu State Police 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.
“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.”
Mikel, who spent more than a decade at Chelsea, now plays for Tianjin TEDA in China.

No comments:

Post a Comment