Football: Mikel pleads for father's release
Nigeria and Chelsea footballer John Obi Mikel pleaded Monday for his father's kidnappers to free him, begging: "Please just let him go".
The 24-year-old midfielder said he had always tried to serve his country and now needed his fellow Nigerians to help him secure his father's release.
Michael Obi, who runs a transport company in Jos, the capital of Plateau State in central Nigeria, has not been seen since Friday when he failed to return home from work.
"All I can say is the country I'm from, Nigeria, I've always tried to help the country in every way that I can, playing for the country, serving the country," Mikel told Britain's Sky Sports News television.
"I think this is time for the country as well to help me in this situation.
"Whoever has got my dad, whoever knows where my dad is, should please contact me and hopefully he should be released."
Mikel said he would like to return to Nigeria to see his family but had been told by security figures that it was safer for him to stay in Britain.
"I just don't know what to do at this point because I don't know where he is and it's just so difficult for me," he said.
"To whoever has got my dad: please just let him go. My dad is an old man and hasn't done any harm to anyone.
"I don't know why he's been taken. My family, my mum especially, she has been very, very sad and devastated about the whole situation."
Mikel played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea's opening English Premier League match of the season, a 0-0 draw at Stoke City on Sunday, despite being informed a day earlier that his father was missing.
© 2011 AFP