The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins June 12 in Brazil. (FIFA.com)
A Yahoo! Sports piece takes you to an eight-minute documentary about a World Cup soccer match that is infamously known to have claimed the life of a Colombian player. However, the motive behind this particular Yahoo.com piece, three weeks before the World Cup, is sadly questionable and only serves to depress worldwide soccer fans.
The video’s proximity to an event that has such beautiful, positive connotations is despicable and disrespectful to two countries that are determined to leave a legendary mark in this World Cup. It is bewildering that Yahoo.com would invest in the production of a narrative that does nothing but pour salt on healed wounds.
First off, if you follow the World Cup, you know the Andrés Escobar story. If you follow world politics and crime, you know the story of the Colombian cartels. The latter situation, sadly, is filled with lies, murders and dead ends. Unbeknownst to Yahoo.com, these situations are no more in Colombia. The timing of this video is a poor attempt to entertain and inform.
The Yahoo video delivers interviews from retired U.S. players that were involved in the match, and even though their comments are sincere, the reminder of the event in the video leaves a bitter sentiment of shame. The video tells the story of the Colombian player who was killed days after Colombia was eliminated from the World Cup because he scored an own goal in the match against the United States.
The tragic and saddening aspect of that event has been long overcome by the Colombian people. Colombia has nurtured that wound 1,000 times over since 1994. Colombian politics have shifted to progressive and innovative ideals that have been manifested in all industries outside of sport. The public transportation system of Bogota is the most successful of all South America; the education system witnessed a boom in international studies, law, science and art; the army has won back drug-infested land; the tourism industry has bounced back; salsa dancing is still one of the top exports.
The Colombian National Soccer team has also seen the heights of success, proving themselves effortlessly during the Qualifiers. Colombian players are everywhere in Europe, and the most skilled of this generation are playing in the Colombia league. However, Yahoo.com somehow thought their melancholic and microscopic documentary about the 1994 USA vs. Colombia match would generate interest and buzz about the upcoming World Cup.
If their distorted presentation of South American news is only popular by placing Colombian sports history in a clear HD video clip, then allow me to inform that Uruguay is also in the World Cup, and their president is nearly homeless. Brazil, the host country, has received criticisms about the safety of players, the safety of the stadiums, the government’s financial investment and even the weather conditions during the event. Argentina is still one of the poorer countries, despite their intercontinental pride of European lineage, and the Minister of Sports in Ecuador was accused of embezzlement just this week. But Yahoo decides a Colombian tragedy will fit just right into their World Cup advertising campaign.
How does @MartinRogers know what was going on in Escobar’s mind after the match? Or at the bar where he was killed? That Escobar faced his murderers with pride or anger or fear is unknown to anyone except Escobar. And we can’t ask him about it can we? What a pathetic way to state and misconstrue facts. An attempt to make Escobar more glorious than he has already been for 20 years falls short and distasteful with fútbol fans everywhere.
I don’t know the agenda of Yahoo!Sports news, but I hope they showcase a more optimistic opinion about the World Cup in future publications. In the event that they don’t, this YouTube video reminds you of the why the World Cup is the greatest and most-watched sports event. It takes balls to be genuine and true to the oldest sport in the world.