Latin America & Caribbean

Carlos Tevez's father freed after Argentina kidnapping

Carlos Tevez celebrates after Juventus beat Atalanta BC 1-0 - 5 May 2014 Image copyright Getty Images

The father of Argentine football star Carlos Tevez has been freed after being kidnapped on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and held for eight hours.

Segundo Tevez was taken by a group of men while driving his car in Moron, some 30km (20 miles) west of Argentina's capital.

Police said the Tevez family had received several calls from the men demanding a ransom to free him.

Local media say a ransom of 400,000 pesos (£30,000; $50,000) was paid.

Neither the family nor the authorities have confirmed whether a payment was made.

"He is OK," a spokesman for the family said.

The former Manchester United and Manchester City striker was granted permission to travel to Argentina by his current club, Juventus.

But reports in Italy said he had chosen not to return following the release.

Carlos Tevez, who was born Carlos Alberto Martínez, was raised by Segundo and his aunt after his biological father was killed and his mother abandoned him.

The BBC's Ignacio de los Reyes in Buenos Aires says it is unclear whether the kidnapping was pre-meditated or if the group just targeted an expensive-looking car.

It is not the first time relatives of football stars have been the targets of kidnappings in Argentina.

In 2002, the brother of former Argentina and Barcelona player Juan Roman Riquelme was kidnapped and the footballer allegedly paid $160,000 (£95,000) to free him.

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