FIFA WC 2018: Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel learns of dad's kidnapping in bus

Jul 04, 2018, 09:10 IST | IANS

"I played while my father was in the hands of bandits," Mikel was quoted as saying by The Guardian

FIFA WC 2018: Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel learns of dad's kidnapping in bus
Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel

In a startling revelation, Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel said he learnt that his father had been kidnapped just hours before he led Nigeria into their final World Cup group phase tie against Argentina.

"I played while my father was in the hands of bandits," Mikel was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "I had to suppress the trauma. I took a call four hours before kick-off to tell me what had happene." The former Chelsea midfielder got the news as he travelled on the team bus to the stadium here last week. According to the report, Mikel was asked to call the kidnappers on a designated number. On doing so, Mikel was asked to cough up a ransom.

"I was distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. 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," Mikel said. Mikel played out the entire 90 minutes as Nigeria lost 2-1 to Argentina.

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