Few hours before Nigerian World Cup skipper, John Mikel Obi was about to lead his team into their final group game against Argentina, he was told that his father had been kidnapped and he would be killed if he reported.
A family member called him and asked him to call the kidnappers on a designated number.
The Nigerian captain did so, even without confiding anyone at the Nigerian Football Federation in order not to distract officials from the game, he told news site, Guardian.
The kidnappers asked him to pay a ransom, he added.
The father of the skipper, Pa Michael Obi was kidnapped last Thursday while travelling to a funeral in Enugu.
Nigerian police say that he has so far been released.
“Michael Obi, the father of the (Super) Eagles captain, has regained his freedom,” the spokesman for Enugu state police in southeast Nigeria, Ebere Amaraizu, said on Monday.
He added that Obi’s father was not hurt after being seized by his captors at gunpoint but was forced to walk for about five kilometres barefoot in heavy rain.
The police spokesperson said the Nigerian skipper had to pay a ransom of 10 million naira ($27,739) to secure the release of his father.
This is the second time that Pa Michael Obi has been kidnapped, with the first one being in August 2011.
No arrest has been made as police are on the heels of the kidnappers.
Obi’s father is currently receiving emergency treatment in hospital after his week-long ordeal.