Venezue­lan foot­ball team left bare­foot af­ter rob­bery

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

A VENEZUE­LAN foot­ball team was held up by armed men in the north-eastern state of An­zoategui on Mon­day.

First divi­sion Tru­jil­lanos were driv­ing back af­ter los­ing Sun­day’s away game against Mon­a­gas when their team bus was stopped and boarded by six men.

The men stripped the play­ers and staff of their pos­ses­sions, in­clud­ing mo­bile phones, wal­lets, shirts and shoes.

Venezuela, which is go­ing through a deep eco­nomic cri­sis, has seen a sharp rise in crime over the past years.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened in the early hours of Mon­day as the team was driv­ing from Ma­turin to its home town of Valera.

They were about 300km into their 1 000km jour­ney when they were stopped by armed men in An­zoategui state.

The team’s press of­fi­cer told BBC Mundo that the rob­bers forced their way into the bus and or­dered the driver to take a back road.

They said they would det­o­nate a hand grenade if some­one alerted the author­i­ties or if the bus was fol­lowed.

Some of the play­ers were hit by the as­sailants, the team’s press of­fi­cer said, but no one was in­jured.

The armed men held the team for two and a half hours while they sys­tem­at­i­cally robbed them of their mo­bile phones, lap­tops, cam­eras, money, watches and jew­ellery.

Most were also forced to strip and hand their shoes and shirts over to the rob­bers.

The rob­bers also ri­fled through the team’s suit­cases, tak­ing more clothes, valu­ables and even foot­balls.

They also re­moved the DVD player from the bus be­fore fi­nally mak­ing off.

The team re­ported the crime at a po­lice con­trol post fur­ther along the road.

A num­ber of in­ter­na­tional sports fed­er­a­tions have ex­pressed their con­cern over the high lev­els of in­se­cu­rity in Venezuela.— BBC.

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