Photo: Somalia playing for Botafogo
Somalia, a midfielder for the Rio de Janeiro club Botafogo, was faced with two options show up late to the team’s first pre-season practice of 2011 and take the 40 percent pay cut or come up with an acceptable excuse.
Somalia, whose actual name is Paulo Rogerio Reis da Silva, chose the later and told the team he had been abducted at gun point on his way to practice. He further elaborated that he was driven around Rio for two hours in a car and then his money and jewelry taken.
The kidnapping could have been plausible since kidnapping is a big business in Brazil, though it is more common in Sáo Paulo.
Unfortunately, the police who tend to deal with professional kidnappers doubted the story almost immediately and looked at security tapes from Somalia’s building, where he lives. The tapes shows him leaving late to practice and two hours after he claimed he was kidnapped. If found guilty he could face up to six months in prison.
As for the team they have announced they will not drop his contract but will issue an internal reprimand. Rumors are that Somalia did not show up to the January 5th practice because he was hungover from a night of heavy drinking and partying.