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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 09:45 GMT
Mikel 'forced' to defy Mourinho
Mikel Jon Obi
Mikel has now played four times for Nigeria
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.

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

Mikel Jon Obi

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."

SEE ALSO
Mourinho challenges Obi
23 Nov 06 |  African
Mikel Obi gets work permit
19 Jul 06 |  African


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