Christian Obodo rescued by police

Christian Obodo rescued by police

Published Jun. 10, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Nigeria soccer international Christian Obodo was rescued by police on Sunday night after he was kidnapped by four gunmen in front of church a day earlier in the country's southern delta.

Police carried out a commando-style operation, storming the hideout to free the 28-year-old, The Nation reported, citing sources.

At least eight people were arrested in connection with the kidnap, one source said.

Obodo is a midfielder who has played 21 times for Nigeria since making his international debut in 2004. Last season, he played on loan at Lecce from Serie A side Udinese.

The kidnappers had made a ransom demand of $187,500, but Obodo's release was reportedly achieved without the amount being paid.

This is not the first time abductors have targeted Nigerian soccer players and their families.

The brother of Everton defender Joseph Yobo was kidnapped in 2008 and freed days later, while last year the father of Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi was abducted before being freed after a police raid.