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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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Chelsea star's father found alive by police

Michael Obi, father of Mikel John Obi, was released by his abductors today.

Image: Rebecca Naden/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 19.55

THE KIDNAPPED FATHER of Chelsea player Mikel John Obi has been found by police in the Nigerian city of Kano, BBC Sport reports.

A spokesperson for the Nigerian police confirmed to the BBC that Michael Obi was in their care and that his kidnappers were now in custody.

A brief statement from the footballer’s agency, SEM, this evening expressed thanks for the support which he received during the ordeal.

“SEM are delighted to confirm, that earlier today Michael Obi called his family to advise them that he had been released by his abductors.

“SEM have waited until now to release this information, to ensure that Michael was safe.

John Obi Mikel would like to thank everyone in Nigeria, his family & friends, Chelsea FC & their fans & his agents for their total support during this terrible time.

Obi Sr, the owner of a transport company in the Nigerian city of Jos, had been missing since he failed to return home from work on the evening of 12 August.

Last week, a statement issued by SEM indicated that the Obi family were in regular contact with the abductors in an attempt to secure Obi Sr’s release.

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that the abductors informed the family that Obi Sr had been moved to the Nigerian capital Lagos, approximately 450 miles south of his last known whereabouts.

They also revealed the location of their victim’s car to prove the veracity of their claims.

This was followed last Wednesday by a ransom demand, described by the player’s agents as “sizable.”

Despite the developing situation, Mikel John Obi played against both Stoke City and West Brom as a show of strength and support for his father and family.

Get the latest updates on this story at BBC Sport >

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Niall Kelly

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