16 Aug 2011

Chelsea player pleads for safe return of father

5:54 am on 16 August 2011

The Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has appealed to kidnappers for the safe return of his father after he was abducted in Nigeria last week.

The 24-year-old Nigeria international played in yesterday's season-opening nil-all draw at Stoke City despite knowing his father Michael had been abducted.

Mikel says it was really difficult..... manager Andre Villas-Boas asked him if he wanted to play the game and he said he did.

He says they live in a very safe and secure place in Nigeria so this is a real shock to him.

Mikel says he'd like to return to Nigeria but had been advised on safety and security grounds to remain in England.

Earlier, his management company said no ransom demand had yet been received from the kidnappers.

It is not the first time a relative of a Premier League player has been abducted in Nigeria after former Everton defender Joseph Yobo's brother was kidnapped in 2008.