London, May 1 (ANI): The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has warned players that the crime wave has reached alarming proportions, and asked players to employ private security guards to secure their homes while they are at the World Cup in South Africa.
In the latest edition of The Players Club, the PFA magazine, players have been warned about being prime targets.
The PFA has urged footballers to install the utmost in security systems at their homes to deter burglars who know when they are out, after 25 Premier League players have been burgled in the last four years.
Many footballers have top-of-the-range systems but they are not always switched on, and armed raiders, particularly in the North West and in London, have confronted some of their wives and girlfriends.
Four masked raiders confronted Steven Gerrard's wife in December 2007 while he was playing against Marseille in France, and Robbie Keane's home was robbed while he was on international duty with Ireland in September 2008, The Times reports.
Manchester United's Darren Fletcher was also burgled while in Italy in February 2009 playing against Inter Milan.
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, said: "There is a great deal of publicity given about footballers and their fixtures. We are talking about making sure their homes are patrolled and that they do everything possible within the home with regard to security."
Taylor added that players going on pre-season tours also needed to take precautions. (ANI)