Mikel Jon Obi claims threats made against his family forced him to defy Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and play in a midweek friendly for Nigeria.
Mikel has now played four times for Nigeria
Mourinho wanted to withdraw Mikel from the match against Ghana at Griffin Park after he suffered a thigh strain in last week's 1-0 win at Charlton.
But the 19-year-old ignored his club's advice to play the full 90 minutes.
He told the Sun newspaper: "Fans were threatening my family. They believe I pick the games I play for my country."
Mourinho was reported to be furious with Mikel's participation in the 4-1 defeat and the Premiership champions have complained to Fifa as a result, but the teenager insists he was left with no choice.
Was Jose Mourinho angry with me for playing? Definitely
He said: "People are still angry that I didn't play in Lesotho for the 2008 African Championship qualifier in October.
"Only a few people know what I have been through at home in the past due to this situation. It was just too much for me to handle or control.
"It's a shame that things turned out this way but only God knows what would have happened to my family if I had stayed away from this game."
The midfielder admits he has further risked the wrath of Mourinho, who dropped him earlier this season after questioning his attitude.
Mikel added: "Was Jose Mourinho angry with me for playing? Definitely.
"He was totally disappointed in me but I just hope I can explain things to him and then we'll see what happens.
"Hopefully he will understand what I have been through and the severe pressure I was put under.
"There was just too much pressure from the Nigerian football officials and even though I tried to explain things to them, they refused to hear me out."