(Reuters) – Honduras midfielder Arnold Peralta was shot to death in the Honduran city of La Ceiba on Thursday, police said.
Peralta, 26, was attacked by several men as he got into his car at a shopping centre in his birth city La Ceiba, 185 km north of the capital Tegucigalpa, a region noted for drug cartel activity.
“Robbery has been discarded as a motive because Peralta had no personal belongings stolen,” said Leonel Sauceda, a spokesman for the Security ministry.
“The player died from multiple wounds from a firearm,” the Honduran daily La Prensa on Friday quoted the forensic report as saying.
Peralta, who played for top Honduran club Olimpia after spending the 2013-14 season with Scottish Championship (second-tier) side Glasgow Rangers, was in the Honduras squad taking part in CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying.
The shooting recalled the murder in 1994 of Colombia defender Andres Escobar in Medellin days after his country’s first-round elimination at the World Cup finals in the United States following a 2-1 defeat by the hosts in which he scored an own goal.