- The Colombian national soccer team was dumped out of the World Cup on Tuesday.
- Colombia lost to England after a nail-biting penalty shootout, a result that led to death threats on social media.
- The concerning messages arrived near the 24th anniversary of Andrés Escobar’s murder. The Colombian defender was shot on Medellín’s streets, a murder many believe was retaliation for scoring an own goal at the 1994 tournament.
- Escobar’s brother fears for the lives of the 2018 class.
- Read all of Business Insider’s World Cup coverage here.
The brother of a Colombian soccer player shot six times on the streets of Medellín in 1994 fears for the lives of the country’s 2018 World Cup stars.
The Colombian national soccer team was dumped out of the competition on Tuesday after England held its nerve in the penalty shootout.
Colombia now returns home — and one man fears for the players’ lives. That man is Sachi Escobar, the brother of the 1994 World Cup player Andrés Escobar.
Andrés Escobar was the Colombian defender who scored an own goal in a World Cup group match against the United States — a mishap that eventually helped usher the country out of the tournament.
He was murdered in the early morning of July 2, 1994. He was shot six times, a killing many viewed as retaliation for the own goal he had scored 10 days earlier.
Speaking before Colombia’s failure on Tuesday, Sachi Escobar expressed concern for the family of Carlos Sanchez, the midfielder who conceded two penalties in the buildup to the team’s final match against England. Sanchez has received threats via social media.
“As a brother who has gone through this, I know what must be going through their heads, and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that,” he told Colombian media, via the UK male-focused entertainment website Joe. “Carlos must be feeling both sad for the mistake he made, and very afraid, and his family too.
“My brother never received any threats, they just shot him dead in the most cowardly way.”
Two Colombian players, Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca, missed penalties in the national team’s failed shootout against England, and both were targeted with hateful messages, according to Mail Online.
The concerning messages ranged from warnings not to return to Colombia to calling for their death. Colombia’s loss and the consequent death threats arrived just after the 24th anniversary of Escobar’s death.
“The fact that people are still allowed to say these things on social network sites, even threaten him with death, making players and their families fear for their lives, shows me that nothing good came out of Andres’ death, nothing was learned,” Sachi Escobar said.
“These people are just low-life who are not real Colombian football fans, who should be arrested and thrown into jail. But despite what happened to Andres there are still no laws in the country to stop them.”