Mikel received news of his father’s kidnapping, hours before match against Argentina

Pa Michael Obi remained in Kidnapper's custody till Monday afternoon

It’s been a week since Nigeria’s painful defeat to Argentina at the on-going World Cup competition in Russia. But recent reports have shown Mikel to be the bravest player on the pitch by far. Just hours before the match, the Midfielder was told his father, Pa Michael Obi had been kidnapped and would be killed if he told anyone about it.

Pa Michael Obi was abducted in south-east Nigeria along the Makurdi-Enugu expressway from Jos. And though police were finally able to secure his release, Mikel’s father had been tortured through the week-long ordeal with the bandits. In a statement released, the former Chelsea player was quoted saying “I was emotionally distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. 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 could not even inform the coaches or NFF staff and only a very tight circle of my friends knew. I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody.”

Fortunately, after making the quick decision for his father’s safety while still looking out for the interest of his team and the 180 million Nigerian supporters back home, his father was released on Monday afternoon and is currently in an hospital receiving emergency treatment for the traumatic experience. Mikel’s father had been kidnapped once in 2011, but we sincerely hope the most recent abduction will be the last.

Featured Image Credits: Instagram/mikel_john_obi

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