Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel has recounted what kidnappers of his father, Pa Michael Obi, told him four hours to Nigeria’s World Cup crunch clash against Argentina on June 26.
The 31-year-old Tianjin TEDA midfielder said the kidnappers called him and threatened to shoot his father “instantly” should he report the incident to authorities.
He said they demanded N10 million ransom to release his father.
Speaking to KweséESPN after his dad’s rescue, Mikel said he could not tell anybody about the call and had to go onto the pitch to represent Nigeria and pretend nothing had happened.
He 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,” 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.”
The Super Eagles lost the game 2-1 to Argentina courtesy of a Marcos Rojo’s 88th-minute goal and Nigeria were knocked out of the competition.
Pa Obi and his driver, John Ishaya, were kidnapped on Makurdi-Enugu Road on June 29 and rescued unhurt in Egede Udi forest along old Egede-Affa Road, Enugu on Monday, July 2.