Father of Espanyol's Jonatas kidnapped in Brazil

December 12, 2006

MADRID, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The father of Espanyol midfielder Jonatas has been kidnapped, Brazilian police said on Tuesday.

'He was taken from his home this morning but we cannot give any other information at the moment,' said a police spokesman after Jose Lourenco de Souza was abducted in Fortaleza.

Jonatas's Barcelona-based club Espanyol added on its Web site: 'The Spanish and Brazilian police have been liaising since the news broke. Jonatas has asked everyone to understand that he is not able to make any statements'.

'The club has placed all its services it his disposal to support him in any decisions he may take.'

The 24-year-old, who was included in Brazil's squad for the friendly in Norway last August, joined Espanyol from Flamengo earlier this year.

Other Brazilian players whose relatives have been targeted include the sister of AC Milan striker Ricardo Oliveira, who was kidnapped in October, and the mother of Real Madrid forward Robinho who was abducted in 2004 before he moved to Spain.