Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 19:32 GMT
SA kidnap shocks soccer coach
South African football is in the spotlight with their 2006 World Cup bid
A Brazilian football coach in South Africa is threatening to quit, after being abducted by two men just before a match involving his team.
"I really feel uneasy," said the 57-year-old in a telephone interview. "My life is at stake here."
"They pushed me to the back seat of the car and said they were going to shoot me if I didn't keep quiet."
Da Silva said he thought the kidnappers, who stole 1,500 rands ($245) from him, were fans unhappy with his coaching.
A native of Rio de Janeiro, he said that during his ordeal on Wednesday afternoon, the assailants forced him to phone two of his assistants as the Swallows began playing the Bush Bucks in a Castle Premier League clash, and tell them to leave the game.
They did. The game continued with the Swallows going behind 1-0.
After Da Silva rang to say he had been released in a shopping centre car park, the Swallows equalised.
Police said they had opened an investigation but had made no arrests.
Da Silva said that earlier this week he received death threats after Swallows were thrashed 5-1 in a weekend game.
Police had to protect him from angry fans who stormed onto the pitch.
"When I lose, they're coming like a mob and want to kill me," said Da Silva, who was meeting with team officials on Thursday to discuss his security.
South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world and it is proving a major concern for campaigners hoping to bring the 2006 World Cup to South Africa.
Some crimes have spilt over onto the football pitch.
Recently a referee killed a player during an unsanctioned match, in which heavy betting was said to be involved.