Sunday June 10 2012
Nigerian police hunt for Obodo

Police in Nigeria have confirmed Udinese and Lecce midfielder Christian Obodo was kidnapped, but they “hope to rescue him alive.”

The player was on his way to church in hometown Warri on Saturday morning when he was taken by a group of armed gunmen, who have since requested a ransom of €150,000.

“We confirm that Obodo was kidnapped yesterday in Effurum (near Warri). We are making all diligent efforts to ensure that he is rescued unhurt,” Delta State police spokesman Charles Muka told AFP.

“We are very hopeful that we will rescue him alive. We are working in combination with all other security agencies, including local vigilante groups and communities. We are combing everywhere.”

Police stated they aim to bring the 28-year-old Nigerian international back without paying the ransom money.

Obodo is owned by Udinese, but spent this season on loan at Lecce.

He becomes the first Nigerian football player to be abducted, as until now relatives of players tended to be kidnapped and later released, such as Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi’s father and Everton defender Joseph Yobo’s brother.