Chelsea's Nigerian teenager John Obi Mikel has revealed that his family received threats before his country's friendly against Ghana.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho wanted to withdraw the 19-year-old from the match at Brentford's Griffin Park after Mikel suffered a thigh strain in last week's win at Charlton.
But Mikel played in the game and told The Sun: "Fans were threatening my family. They believe I pick the games I play for my country.
"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."