Latin America & Caribbean

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez fined after 124mph police chase

James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring against Chile during their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup South American Qualifiers football match, in Santiago, on November 12, 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption James Rodriguez said he did not stop for police because he feared a kidnapping

Colombian footballer James Rodriguez, 24, has been fined €10,400 ($11,300; £8,090) by the Spanish authorities for refusing to stop for police, Spanish media report.

The Real Madrid star was caught speeding on New Year's Day on his way to training, and refused to stop.

Police said he was driving at 200km/h (124mph), double the speed limit.

The fine is for refusing to stop when police told him to pull over. The fine for speeding has yet to be announced.

'Kidnap fear'

The incident happened on 1 January as Mr Rodriguez was driving in his Audi R8 on the M-40 motorway in the outskirts of Madrid.

Police in an unmarked vehicle caught the player speeding and hailed him over loudspeaker, telling him to pull over.

The player did not stop and was followed by the police car with a flashing siren all the way to the training ground.

The officers said Mr Rodriguez told them he did not stop because he feared they were trying to kidnap him.

Carjackings are not uncommon in his native Colombia but rather more rare in Spain.

He also said that he had not heard the siren because the music in his car had been too loud.

He has 15 days to appeal against the fine. But if he pays within the next two weeks, the sum due will be halved.

Big earner

The player earns €7.6m per year.

James Rodriguez is not the only current Real Madrid player to have been in trouble on the roads.

His team-mate Karim Benzema was caught driving at 195km/h (121mph) in February 2012.

He had his driving licence suspended for eight months and was fined €18,000 (£14,012).

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