John Obi Mikel's Father Abducted In Nigeria

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Mikel of Chelsea during the Pre Season Friendly match between Portsmouth and Chelsea at Fratton Park on July 16, 2011 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

I missed the first part of this news on a plane back from Las Vegas (thanks to Steve for covering), but John Obi Mikel's dad was reported missing in Nigeria on Friday. Chelsea informed the player before the club faced Stoke City on Sunday, but Mikel played anyway, putting in a very impressive performance despite obviously stressful conditions, but it sounds like things are going to get worse for him before they get better:

SEM confirms, that client John Obi Mikel’s father was abducted in Nigeria on Friday 10th August. Thus far no ransom has been received. Mikel was informed by his manager prior to the Stoke v Chelsea match & decided to play so as not to let down his team & family. Chelsea FC are taking legal advice as to a possible Press Conference later today & security issues around Mikel.

SEM Group. Source: Twitter.

(SEM are a football management group, for those asking.)

Obviously, this is terrible news. I hope everyone will join me in wishing for a safe and speedy return for Mikel's father. I can't imagine what he must be going through now, and it's sickening that having a footballing relative can make someone a target for this sort of crime. I'm not sure if there's anything the club or the fans can do to make sure the poor man returns home as quickly as possible, but in the meantime I'm sure everyone will be giving Mikel as much support as possible during a really tough time.

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