'I was told they would shoot my dad' - Nigeria captain Mikel's father kidnapped during World Cup

John Obi Mikel Nigeria 2018 World Cup
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The former Chelsea midfielder was told of his father's abduction while playing in Russia but remained in the Super Eagles line up
The father of Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has been rescued from kidnappers by the police, with the player revealing that he was aware of the incident during the World Cup.

According to reports, Micheal Obi and his driver, Ishaya John were abducted along the Makurdi-Enugu road on their way from Jos, last week.

The abductors were reported to have demanded N10 million (£21,000/$28,000) as ransom, but the Enugu State Police were on hand to rescue the former Chelsea midfielder's father, his driver and the Toyota Prado jeep they rode in.

A statement via the state's Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said: “It was gathered that Pa Michael Obi and his driver were abducted along Makurdi-Enugu Road on his way from Jos in his grey-coloured Toyota Prado jeep with registration number: MUS 604 CG and taken to an unknown destination through the thick forest part of the area.

“It was further gathered that the abductors started calling to demand a ransom of N10m before police operatives acted on intelligence information and swooped on them.

“In the process of the rescue, a gun duel ensued between police operatives and the kidnappers, which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued."

The police spokesman also confirmed that Obi is 'hale and hearty' after a team of doctors from the force's medical unit conducted a checkup.

His son, Mikel, led the Super Eagles in Russia where they knocked out after losing to Argentina in their final Group D match.

And the Tianjin TEDA midfielder has revealed that he was aware of his father's kidnap ahead of the clash with the South American side but insisted he took part in the game.

"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."

Mikel has represented his country at the last two World Cups and has won 85 caps in total, scoring six goals.