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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 04:06 GMT
Gunmen seize Brazil star's mother
By Elliot Gotkine
BBC South America correspondent

Luis Fabiano (r) in action for FC Porto
Luis Fabiano (r) plays his football for FC Porto
The mother of Brazilian footballer Luis Fabiano has been kidnapped.

Gunmen abducted Sandra Helena Clemente at her home in Campinas, about 100km (60 miles) north-west of Sao Paulo.

Police say she was on her way to meet a friend when she was snatched by two gunmen, who bundled her into a car before driving off.

This is the third time a footballer's mother has been kidnapped in four months, and the second kidnapping in the past two weeks.

Police declined to say whether they had received a ransom demand for Ms Clemente, but money appears to be the likely motive. After helping Brazil to victory in the Copa America last July, Fabiano signed for Portuguese Club Porto in a deal reportedly worth $14m (7.3m).

Dangerous game

Two weeks ago, the mother of Sao Paulo forward Grafite was taken hostage. She was freed by police a day later.

Less fortunate was the mother of Robinho, a player hailed by some as the new Pele.

She was kidnapped in November at a family party and spent 40 days hostage before being released unharmed. A ransom was reportedly paid.

Football in Brazil and in Argentina has already seen most of its biggest names move to Europe to earn more money.

Many fans now fear that kidnappers could give their best players yet another reason to leave the region.

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17 Dec 04 |  Americas
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30 Nov 04 |  World Football
Real close in on signing Robinho
22 Nov 04 |  Chelsea
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21 Jan 02 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
09 Dec 04 |  Country profiles


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