It’s probably more believable than some of Stephen Ireland’s excuses….

Somalia, a Brazilian midfielder who plays for Botafogo in Rio De Janeiro, recently faked his own kidnapping in order to avoid a 40% pay cut for being late to the first day of pre-season training.

He claimed that he was abducted at gunpoint outside his apartment at 7am on his way to training, and then driven around the city in a taxi for two hours before taking his money and jewellery and letting him go.

Kidnapping is a serious crime in South America, as those who remember the tragic tale of Spurs’ player Wilson Palacios’ brother Edwin, who was abducted and eventually killed, despite Wilson paying the kidnapper’s demands will attest. Or perhaps anyone who has seen the Denzil Washington movie Man on Fire. As such, Somalia’s story is based in reality, and not one out of Stephen Ireland’s book of excuses as may have first been suspected.

However, the police instantly saw through his flimsy story and examined CCTV footage of his apartment and discovered the footballer exiting at around 9am, when he was allegedly being driven around the city in a taxi after being abducted two hours earlier. Turns out he was just running late to training after a heavy night of drinking and partying. Lad. Sound like he would have fitted in well in Paul Merson’s day.

It might not be all smiles for Somalia though, Botafogo are currently reviewing the situation before deciding upon his future with the club, whilst if charged with falsely reporting a kidnapping he could face up to six months in jail. Probably should have just taken the pay cut – now he might lose his job and go to jail and everyone in the world thinks he’s an idiot.


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