John Obi Mikel revealed that he faced Argentina in the 2018 World Cup after finding out his dad was Pa Michael Obi, was kidnapped and held for ransom in Nigeria.
According to the police, Obi’s father was on his way from Jos, Plateau State, in a grey colour Toyota Prado Sports Utility Vehicle with number plate, MUS 604CG, when he was kidnapped.
The kidnappers were said to have demanded a N10 million ransom but the police swung into action to secure his release.
The Perpetrators pretended to be the police and snatched him on his way to a funeral. “I was told they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody,” Mikel told SunSport. it is not yet confirmed if the midfielder actually paid £21,000 for his father’s return according to the rumour mill.
The Nigerian police claimed they secured his return without any ransom paid. Although the elderly man was not hurt, he was however forced to walk for about five kilometres (three miles) barefoot in the heavy rain.
The release comes one week after he was seized at gunpoint, even after he was previously kidnapped in Jos in 2011
The 31-year-old soccer player, who broke a bone in his hand during the 2-0 win over Iceland didn’t tell his teammates because he didn’t want to break their focus. “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,” he continued.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but he decided to “represent [his] country first.”
Nigeria was knocked out of the World Cup on last week Tuesday after losing to Argentina