News Article  | World Cup 2018

Mikel: I Faced Argentina Knowing My Dad Got Kidnapped

Nigeria Star John Obi Mikel: I Faced Argentina Knowing My Dad Got Kidnapped

By Keegan Kruger - Jul 03, 2018 03:23 PM @KeeganKruger

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has revealed that he faced Lionel Messi's Argentina last Tuesday knowing that his father had been kidnapped and was held for ransom.

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The midfielder's father, Michael Obi, was on his way to a funeral when he and his driver were abducted along the Makurdi-Enugu expressway on 26 June, and the thugs involved were said to be demanding a fee of 10 million nairas (R380 000) for their safe return.

In an exclusive interview recently, Mikel explained that he did not tell anyone about the incident because of the kidnappers' threats to shoot his dad if the authorities were informed.

"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 told ESPN.

"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."

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Mikel's father and his driver were rescued by police after a reported "gun duel" on 2 July, a week after the kidnapping.

Would you have played a crunch World Cup game knowing that one of your family members had been kidnapped? Have your say in the comments section below.


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MR E Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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MR E Jul 05, 2018 05:40 AM
John Obi Mikel is so brave, no one will ever do that
Maloh11 Joined: 10 Apr 2017
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Maloh11 Jul 04, 2018 08:08 AM
security should be prioritized in Nigeria
@azzaniawest Joined: 07 Nov 2017
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@azzaniawest Jul 03, 2018 05:56 PM
Maxwell70 Joined: 27 Mar 2014
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Maxwell70 Jul 03, 2018 04:33 PM
I'm so sorry 4 what u went through bro, God bless! This is one of d examples of what African playaz go through n eventually perform poorly in big tournaments ... lack of resources, not being paid on time, corrupt football administrators, player mentality esp. after signing 4 big European teams, security issues here in Africa etc. This is why winning d FIFA World Cup will most probably remain jst a dream 4 African countries unless we as Africans start to practice what we preach n stop offering only lip service. I mean no African country advanced to d last 16 in this year's FIFA World Cup let alone quarter finals! #K4L
Warras4phefeni Joined: 09 Nov 2017
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Warras4phefeni Jul 03, 2018 04:12 PM
Hardluck fighter atleast your dad is safe back
Mfanakamdala Joined: 15 Aug 2016
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Mfanakamdala Jul 03, 2018 04:05 PM
Yoh. At least hes safe

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