Nigeria captain hid dad’s abduction, played World Cup match

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel says he was told four hours before his country’s crucial World Cup game against Argentina that his father had been kidnapped back home and would be shot if the player reported it to authorities.

Mikel said in a statement on Tuesday from his management company that he hid the news from his teammates and coaches in Russia and “had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first.”

Nigeria lost last week’s game in St. Petersburg 2-1 after a late Argentina goal and was eliminated from the World Cup.

Mikel’s father, Michael Mikel, was freed by Nigerian police in the southeastern state of Enugu on Monday.

John Obi Mikel says he learned of his dad’s kidnapping through a telephone call just before the Argentina game, but didn’t tell anyone because he didn’t want it to be a distraction for the team.

It’s the second time his father has been kidnapped in Nigeria.

Gerald Imray, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Dozens hurt in collapse of deck during wedding celebration in Langley, B.C.

LANGLEY, B.C. — Police say dozens of people were injured, some critically,… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25.5 million jackpot… Continue reading

Uber driver charged in two sexual assault investigations: Toronto police

Toronto police say an Uber driver is facing sexual assault charges in… Continue reading

PEI Green party candidate Josh Underhay and son killed in canoeing accident

CHARLOTTETOWN — With only a few days before voters were to go… Continue reading

Egyptians vote on changes that would extend el-Sissi’s rule

CAIRO — Egyptians cast their ballots Saturday on the first of three… Continue reading

Ex-Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid

WASHINGTON — A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group’s… Continue reading

New bout of heavy fighting in Yemen kills dozens

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni officials say heavy fighting in Yemen’s southern Dhale… Continue reading

Most Read