'We will kill you and your family' - Man armed with a gun tried to force Mark van Bommel to give him a contract at Royal Antwerp

Mark van Bommel Antwerp 2022-23Getty Images

The former Netherlands midfielder, who is on course to lead Antwerp to their first Belgian championship since 1957, was forcefully approached in a car park back in October.

However, the Belgian Public 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 a deal with his employers.

Investigations found that Haban had placed an AirTag - an Apple Tracker - under Van Bommel's Porsche Panamera, where he was able to locate the Antwerp boss in the parking area outside his apartment complex.

Haban, who prosecutors found to be 25 years old although he claims to be 17, blinded Van Bommel with a torch and then threatened him with a firearm. The Dutchman managed to escape by reversing quickly and then fleeing the scene.

Investigations into Haban's iPhone, which was linked to the AirTag, revealed an audio message that he had planned to play to Van Bommel before the Dutchman managed to get away. It involved him landing a contract with the Juliper Pro League club.

Translated from Arabic, De Telegraaf notes that the message read as follows: "Listen Mark, your family's life depends on this, let me become a professional player. Don't go to the police, we will kill you and your family. We know where you live".

Despite coming away physically unscathed, the mental scars have remained for Van Bommel.

The ex-midfielder's lawyer, John Maes, told Het Nieuwsblad on Wednesday: "We cannot laugh about that. The impact of these facts cannot be underestimated. My client is used to some things, but not this. He no longer dares to sleep at home and lives in a hotel."

As a result, Van Bommel is demanding €5,000 in moral damages. The Prosecution, meanwhile, has asked for a five-year prison sentence and a fine of €1,200.