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Star footballer fakes kidnap to extort Shs13m from family

Discussion in 'Sports' started by ByaseL, Oct 31, 2012.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Oct 31, 2012
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    It was a trip he had hoped would enable him to get his footballing career back on track. Little did he know that it would instead turn into an unforgettable journey to the Far East.

    Savio Nsereko, a Ugandan-born but German-bred footballer, was arrested by police in the Thai coastal city of Pattaya after faking his own kidnap to extort $5,000 (Shs12.5m) from his family in Germany at the weekend. Pattaya is a beach resort, popular with tourists and expatriates because of its flourishing sex industry and nightlife.

    Sources say Nsereko travelled to Thailand after he had left his club, SpVgg Unterhaching, a third division side, having played his last match on October 10 against Sportfreunde Aying. He had requested to leave the club and was given consent. It is at this club that he had hoped his career would be rejuvenated after a spate of injuries.

    The Bangkok Post says the 23-year-old, who at one time the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) sought to play for the Uganda Cranes, had run out of money and the only way he could fend for himself was to hoodwink his family. To top up his funds, he reportedly told family members he had been abducted and his captors were demanding a ransom for his release.

    This is not the first time the troubled player has played hide-and-seek in his footballing career that looked promising four years ago, when he was tipped by the European footballing body as one of the players to look out for in the next decade.

    This came after he led the Germany U-20 team to the European title and was picked as the player of the tournament. Around this time last year, Nsereko mysteriously went missing from his Italian Serie B club, Juve Stabia, and was in hiding for almost a week.

    The last official contact the player had with his club was a text message sent to his coach Pierro Praglia, indicating that he would be absent from the team’s training camp. He did something similar in October 2010 while on loan at 1860 Munich but was found at a sister’s place a few days later.

    What is a mystery is how a player who was bought for £9m (Shs22.5b) by West Ham in 2009 from Brescia and earned more than £35,000 (Shs87m) per week, tried to extort an amount of money he would have made in days, from his family.

    Sources indicate that Nsereko could be having financial problems due to bad decisions he has made with his money and career. He shops in the best stores in Europe and wines and dines in some of the most expensive restaurants and hotels in the world. He regularly confesses that his multi-million move to West Ham at 19 happened at the wrong time.

    At the time, he felt he had to carry the club on his shoulders following the departure of some key players in the off season. In the end, he failed to perform to many people’s expectations and he was let go.
    This, he says, “killed” him.

    So unsettled is the player that most of his career has been under loan agreements and plagued by disagreements with the team management. He has previously walked out on 1860 Munich, Juve Stabia and now, Unterhaching. His coach at Unterhaching says the player could not concentrate on football because of his many lies.