Mark van Bommel was attacked by a man armed with a gun as he attempted to force himself into a contract as a Royal Antwerp player.
The former Netherlands midfielder, who is closer to bringing Antwerp to the Belgian Pro League title for the first time since 1957, was bullied in a parking lot last October.
However, the Belgian Prosecutor’s Office (OM) has found that the culprit, Jamaleh Haban M., was not interested in the coach’s Porsche Panamera or his expensive watch – but rather a contract as a professional player.
An investigation found that Haban had placed an AirTag – an Apple Tracker – under Van Bommel’s Porsche Panamera, through which he was able to locate the Antwerp boss in the parking area outside his apartment complex.
Haban, who prosecutors say is 25 years old although he claims to be 17, momentarily blinds Van Bommel’s eyes with a bright light and then threatens him with a gun. The Dutchman managed to escape by quickly backing away and then fled the scene.
An investigation into Haban’s iPhone, which is linked to an AirTag, reveals an audio message he planned to play to Van Bommel before the coach escaped. It is known he wants to be signed by the Royal Antwerp club.
Translated from Arabic, The Telegraph noted that the message read as follows: “Listen Mark, your family life depends on this, let me go pro. Don’t call the police, we will kill you and your family. We know where you live”.
Even though he wasn’t injured at all, the mental damage caused by the bullying left an imprint on Van Bommel’s mind.
The former Netherlands midfielder’s lawyer, John Maes, told Het Nieuwsblad on Wednesday (31/5): “We cannot laugh about it. The impact of these facts cannot be underestimated. My client is used to some things, but not He no longer dares to sleep at home and stay in hotels.”
As a result, Van Bommel demanded €5000 in moral damages. Prosecutors, meanwhile, have asked the perpetrator for a five-year prison term and a fine of €1200.
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