Andres Escobar's Brother Fears Murder of Colombia Player If Team LosesJuly 3, 2018
The brother of Andres Escobar, a Colombian player who was murdered after he scored an own goal in the 1994 World Cup, believes another member of the team could be killed if they fail to find success again.
Sachi Escobar spoke on the 24th anniversary of his brother's death ahead of Tuesday's clash with England. Per the Mirror's Matt Roper, one of Colombia's players, Carlos Sanchez, already received death threats during this year's World Cup after he was sent off in the 2-1 defeat against Japan.
The team have rallied behind the upsetting treatment the midfielder has received:
AFP Sport @AFP_Sport
Colombia dedicate #WorldCup victory over Poland to midfielder Carlos Sanchez who is said to have received death threats after he was sent off in their previous match - coach Jose Pekerman said the player was "deeply affected" https://t.co/6nk3DEwvAw #COL #CarlosSanchez https://t.co/hG08d7mXcd
Escobar's brother also called on the team to "evoke the spirit of Andres," who scored his only goal for the national side at Wembley Stadium against England.
Speaking about the threats, he said:
"My brother never received any threats, they just shot him dead in the most cowardly way. The fact that people are still allowed to say these things on social network sites, even threaten his with death, making players and their families fear for their lives, shows me that nothing good came out of Andres’ death, nothing was learned.
"But I truly hope that, if Colombia failed to meet these expectations, then the tragedy that happens to my brother doesn't repeat itself. God forbid that it happens again. I truly hope that no player's life is put at risk because a team didn't get good results or managed to advantage to the next phase in the World Cup in Russia."
Escobar was 27 years old when he scored an own goal in a 2-1 loss against the United States in 1994, a second consecutive loss for the South Americans, who finished in last place in Group A. He was shot and killed in Colombia 10 days later.
Fans of the team are hopeful this could be the year Colombia go all the way after they qualified for the perceived easier side of the bracket, where 2010 champions Spain have already dropped out.