Ransom demand for Mikel's dad
But agents dismiss reports of £80,000 demand from kidnappers
Last Updated: August 18, 2011 11:10am
Mikel: The midfielder played in Chelsea's draw at Stoke on Sunday
The representatives of Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel have confirmed a 'sizeable' ransom has been demanded by the kidnappers of his father.
Mikel played for Chelsea on Sunday against Stoke despite being informed that his dad had been abducted.
Michael Obi, who runs an interstate transport company in Jos, went missing in his native Nigeria on Friday.
And Mikel's representatives, SEM, said in a statement on Thursday: "SEM advises that reports from Nigeria of an £80,000 ransom demand for the return of John Obi Mikel's father is not true.
"We confirm that Michael Obi has been abducted and that the kidnappers have been in touch with the family and representatives of the family and that discussions for Michael's safe release have begun.
"A sizeable demand has been made but, for security reasons, we are unable to release details of the amount.
"Mikel would like to thank his family, friends, Chelsea FC and his agents for their support and, at this time, it is Mikel's intention to play for Chelsea this weekend, encouraged by his family to do so."