Mikel Obi captained the Super Eagles in their 2018 World Cup match against Argentina in the knowledge that his father had been abducted.
Mikel’s father, Michael Obi, was rescued by the Nigeria Police Force on Monday.
The Enugu State police spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu, said Michael had been abducted June 29, but Mikel, speaking to KweseESPN, said he learned about the abduction on June 26, 4 hours before playing Argentina.
Mikel did not tell anyone about the kidnap, opting instead to face Argentina in the Group D clash.
¨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 was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody¨, Mikel said.
¨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¨, he continued.