How Colombian footballer Andrés Escobar was executed by drug cartel after his unlucky own goal destroyed their 1994 World Cup dreams. The footballer executed by his own people.
Update by Christy Cooney
Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga was a Colombian footballer who played as a defender. He played for Atlético Nacional, BSC Young Boys, and the Colombia national team. Nicknamed The Gentleman, he was known for his clean style of play and calmness on the pitch.
Colombia’s World Cup hopes were high: they had finished top of their qualifying group, beaten Argentina 5-0, and been tipped as favourites by Brazilian legend Pelé.
He was later shot by a drug cartel thought to have lost money betting on the game
But their 1994 campaign ended in disaster, with an early own goal by defender Andrés Escobar, an exit at the end of the group stages, and the subsequent murder of Escobar outside a Colombia nightclub.
Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine, while its drug lords have at different points ranked among the richest men
The team’s failure caused a backlash at home, but Escobar ignored friends who told him to lie low until it had died down, saying: “I must show my face to my people.”
Five days after the early exit, he was murdered while sitting in his car outside a nightclub in the Colombian city of Medellín.
He was shot six times, and it was later reported that his killers shouted “Goal!” with each shot, one for each time the match’s commentator had shouted the word as the goal was broadcast.
Humberto Castro Muñoz, a bodyguard for the drug barons thought to have lost money, was arrested the next day and confessed to the murder.
An estimated 120,000 people attended Escobar’s funeral, and the anniversary of his death is still marked at matches in Colombia each year