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Mikel: Why I Played Against Argentina While My Father Was In Kidnappers’ Hands

Mikel: Why I Played Against Argentina While My Father Was In Kidnappers’ Hands

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi has narrated how he played a key game for his team during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup despite his father, Michael, being in captivity.

Nigeria needed a draw with Argentina to advance to the round of 16 last Tuesday but, unknown to his colleagues, Mikel had a much bigger issue to deal with.

Kidnappers had his father in their custody and were demanding a huge ransom. He had also been warned not to involve security agencies if he wanted his father back alive and in one piece.

“I played while my father was in the hands of bandits,” Mikel was quoted by The Guardian on Tuesday.

“I had to suppress the trauma. I took a call four hours before kick-off to tell me what had happened.

“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. I also did not want to discuss it with the coach [Gernot Rohr] because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to him or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. As much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not.

“Thankfully, my father was safely released on Monday afternoon. I thank the police authorities for their rescue efforts and the support I’ve received from friends and family members. Unfortunately, my dad is now in hospital receiving emergency treatment as a result of the torture he received during his capture.”

Mikel bravely went on to post an impressive performance against Argentina although his side still lost 2-1 and got eliminated.

The Enugu State Police Command on Tuesday confirmed in a statement that Mr Obi had been rescued from the kidnappers.

The kidnappers allegedly demanded N10m as ransom from Obi’s family, according to police.

“Michael Obi, the father of Eagles captain, has regained his freedom,” Enugu Police command spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said.

“He was rescued a forest in the Udi area of Enugu after a gun battle between the police and the kidnappers, who escaped during the shootout.

“He is right now in the office of the Enugu State police commissioner.”

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  • Kunle 3 years ago

    Nigeria is my country but, I can not describe Nigerians.

  • Bekee 3 years ago

    It’s now clear wen some r praying for d Eagles to win som r out there plotting for d team to fail so as to carry out their selfish acts bravo  i

  • Patriotism was conspicuously exhibited by Mikel which should forever silent his critics on commitment to SE. Thank God for the safety and release of the man.

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    I think Giwa and Dalung should be investigated about this. Those two buffoons are not clean. These guys priorities are so misplaced, Fulani herdsmen are busy killing thier kinsmen, these two clowns are doing their best to destroy Nigeria soccer.

  • Chidi 3 years ago

    Prophet sunnyb u just spoke my mind,yeye de smell 

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    Thank God your dad has returned home. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I can’t thank you enough Mikel. God will be with you, your family and everyone of us. Some people are very wicked sha. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Thank God your dad was released. I wonder why this man is always a target. What crime has he committed? Guiding his son to excel at his vocation and be the pride of the Nation? Many Nigerians are now voluntarily living in exile because of lack of security. And even their families back home are perpetually targeted. The wicked shall not prosper.

    • “involuntarily” —- they want to return home, but are forced not to.

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    @Chidi, thanks Bro  for standing up to these inhumane creatures .Soccer is the only source of joy for most Nigerians why these smelly cow dongs are this at this time,when most Nigerians are down emotionally, financially. What is the definition of a failed state?

  • i thank you so much Mikel for your patriotism, you have proved to be Nigeria most influential player since your emergence in 2005 world youth championship, history will always remember you for your charismatic style of leadership, apart from this one you have just exhibited in this 2018 world cup, you have win my heart since 2013 confederation cup Nigeria vs spain, and the manner in which you led our olympic football team in 2016 Rio olympic which unfortunately cost you your place in chelsea under the tutelage of Antonio Conte, almighty God will continue to guide you and your family because of your love for our belove country. God bless Nigeria.

  • Kenny 3 years ago

    Mikel is one of the most patriotic and loyal captain Nigeria ever had, there has never been an issue with the team and the coaching crew nor NFF in all his time of being the team captain, unlike what was very common in the past including Enyeama days. He put his Chelsea career on line to represent Nigeria at the Olympics, he paid a bill with his own money at a time during Olympic preparation.
    For him to hold the kidnapping news to himself and not even tell his coach to avoid distraction for the sake of 180 million Nigerians is an height of patriotism.
    Big kudos to him. Thank God for save rescue.

  • Well done Mikel for standing and shaming the people that wanted to wreck you emotionally, The authorities should ensure that they pay dearly for this dastardly act.

  • Sunnyb u r spot on. They knew that if they are able to emotionally breakdown the engine room and the captain of the team they Wuld have reduced the team strength by half and that Wuld have affected the team in its entirety bcos they know that if the team get to the second round the reputation of pinnick will soar higher and they Wuld not be able to successfully get him out of office even by fraudulent court order. However ,they succeed albeit temporarily for I know that after conclusion of thorough investigation they all will be found guilty and bcos PMB govt frown at corruption and its practice am sure that is just a matter of time they will be labelled criminals and put away for good.even if pinnick has been a bad NNF president wch ihe is not for he as done creditably well that does not in anyway give they the audacity to scuttle the countries only means of true joy and oneness especially at critical times that our country is passing through her many challenges. Though I know they will be rounded up but paraventure they are not (for with Nig nothing is impossible wen it comes to criminal issues ) I will advice that every God fearing persons shld stay away from they including GR for they are wicked and wen any body will do anything to get wat he or she wants such person is more or less a
    ritualist or wat other name do u call they who sacrifice their country bcos of ordinary nnf seat wch they can’t occupy for eternity.pinnick I don’t know u closely am only saying all these to safe my country from the strongholds of heartless humans now forcibly occupying the nnf secretariat . The thought of the antics of these criminals irritate me badly .what a shame…