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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Foreign players 'forced to leave'
Two footballers leaving Londonderry after threats
Bertrand Ketchanke and George Ngoma-Kasanda said they were threatened
Two foreign footballers have said they are leaving Londonderry because their lives have been threatened.

Institute FC players Bertrand Ketchanke and George Ngoma-Kasanda said three men with baseball bats threatened to shoot them at their Waterside home on Friday.

The French and Belgian nationals said they received intimidating phone calls in the previous three weeks.

Police said they are investigating an incident at Winchester Park and another report of alleged intimidation.

"Some people give us a ring on our mobiles and tell us to leave the town, or we'll shoot you," Mr Ngoma said.

He said the caller told him he would be shot in the leg.

"Then last week some people came to the house with baseball bats," he added.

Mr Ngoma, who is Belgian, said he was leaving because he was scared.

Their solicitor, Kevin Casey, said there is no history of racism in football in Northern Ireland and he hoped it was an isolated incident.

"They're at a complete loss as to why this happened," Mr Casey said.

"When I spoke to them this morning they said they have had an overwhelmingly positive experience of Derry and Derry people and it would appear to be just a small element that has singled the two players out."

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