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

first_img“I could not even inform the coaches or NFF (Nigeria Football Federation) 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.”The kidnappers demanded a ransom of $28,000 for Mikel’s father, according to Nigerian police in the southeastern state where his father was rescued.But police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu told The Associated Press that Michael Obi was rescued along with his driver after a shootout and no ransom was paid. The two men had been held by the kidnappers for nearly a week after being abducted on a road while traveling from the central city of Jos to a funeral in the southeastern state of Enugu.Kidnappings for ransom targeting family members of wealthy people are common in Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of nearly 200 million people and Africa’s most populous country.Mikel, one of Nigeria’s most successful players, was at Chelsea in the Premier League from 2006-17. He moved to Chinese club Tianjin Teda last year.His father was also kidnapped in 2011, when the kidnappers demanded a $4 billion ransom from Chelsea.On that occasion, Michael Obi was kidnapped in Jos and rescued in the northern city of Kano, 190 miles away, 10 days later.Mikel said he desperately wanted to talk about his father’s latest kidnapping with Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr at the World Cup but thought it would upset the team, and so kept quiet.“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,” Mikel said. “So as much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not do it. Thankfully he (Mikel’s father) is now safely released.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Mikel decided to hide the news from his teammates and coach so as not to destabilize the team and went ahead and played the game in Russia, the midfielder said in a statement released by his management company on Tuesday.Mikel’s father, Michael Obi, was rescued from armed kidnappers by Nigerian police following a shootout in a remote, forest area in southeastern Nigeria on Monday, nearly a week after his abduction.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThat allowed the player to talk about the incident publicly.Police said Michael Obi, who was rescued along with his driver, had “recovered from the trauma of the kidnap.” Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trialcenter_img FILE – In this June 22, 2018 file photo, Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel waves to his team’s supporters after their 2-0 win in Group D over Iceland at the World Cup in Volgograd, Russia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel played in a crucial World Cup match against Argentina four hours after being told his father had been kidnapped for ransom back home and would be shot if anyone talked to the police.“I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first,” Mikel said.ADVERTISEMENT Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In a post on his official Twitter account later Tuesday, Mikel said his father was “recuperating with family.”It was the second time Michael Obi had been kidnapped in Nigeria.Mikel said he received a telephone call in St. Petersburg last Tuesday telling him of his father’s abduction as the Nigeria team was heading to the stadium to play in the World Cup against Lionel Messi and Argentina.Nigeria lost 2-1 after a late Argentina goal and was eliminated from the World Cup as a result. Mikel played the whole game knowing that his father was in serious danger.“I was emotionally distraught but had to make a decision about whether I was mentally ready to play the game,” Mikel said in his statement. “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.ADVERTISEMENT PayMaya forces semis rubber match vs BanKo after 5-set win In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View commentslast_img read more

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PEOPLE WALK OUT OF MASS OVER PRIEST’S ‘GAY’ COMMENTS ABOUT DONEGAL GAA STAR

first_imgEamon McGee has campaigned for a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum.A NUMBER of people walked out of a Mass in protest at comments made by a priest during a sermon on gay marriage.Father John Britto spoke out against gay marriage during a sermon in Annagry on Saturday night.And he told the congregation that Gaoth Dobhair footballer Eamon McGee was wrong to back the Yes campaign in May’s referendum on same sex marriages. A number of people attending the Mass objected to the comments and left.“A few people walked out; Father Britto was giving a very robust sermon on gay marriage and said McGee was wrong (to support the Yes campaign),” said a mother who was at the Mass.Members of one family were at the Mass for an anniversary of a dead relative. They are said to have found the sermon upsetting.The incident came just days after the Donegal defender backed the Yes campaign in the referendum. A Catholic organisation criticised McGee on social media. “The reaction has been more than positive. A Catholic organisation was ribbing me on Twitter and asking why the GAA was taking a stand on this,” said Éamon.“It’s a societal issue rather than a political issue but the majority of it has been supportive and I think it’s a good opportunity too for people to talk about it. It just shows you there’s that bit of open-mindedness there.“There’s no point lying about it: there’s certain aspects of GAA folk that are traditionalists, have Catholic viewpoints and are old school. They will view this with a bit of suspicion, this lifestyle. Maybe that’s 20-30% of them, 30% maximum. The majority of the GAA are coming on now to it.”McGee told a press conference last month that if he was lucky enough to have children he didn’t want one of them asking him in the future why he didn’t vote Yes. PEOPLE WALK OUT OF MASS OVER PRIEST’S ‘GAY’ COMMENTS ABOUT DONEGAL GAA STAR was last modified: March 10th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Eamon McGeefather John Brittolast_img read more

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