|Tuesday, 28 October 2008 20:37|
Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga
Born: March 13, 1967, Medellín, Colombia
Died: July 2, 1994, Medellín, Colombia
Cause of death: Gunshots fired by Humberto Muñoz Castro
Notable because: Scored an own goal in the football World cup, eliminating his team. Returned home and was promptly shot 12 times by Humberto Castro who screamed 'Gooooaaaal after each shot was fired.' 11 years later Castro was free.
Andres Escobar was a Colombian international soccer player who was shot and killed in Medellín. Some attribute the murder to his own goal in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, costing gambling losses to several drug lords. Another theory posits that the death was simply the result of a bar fight that left several people wounded. Andrés Escobar is still placed in the highest regard by Colombian fans, and specially mourned and remembered by Atletico Nacional's fans, some of whom never saw him play in person.
Escobar was a defender for Colombia in the Soccer World Cup in 1990 and 1994. His jersey number was 2, and was known by the nicknames "El Caballero del Futbol" ("The Gentleman of Football" or "Football's Knight") and "The Immortal Number 2". In his club career, he played for Medellín side Atlético Nacional and Swiss side Young Boys Bern. He scored his only regular international goal in a 1–1 draw against England at Wembley in 1988.
Escobar's infamous own goal occurred in a match against the United States on 22 June during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Stretching to cut out a cross from U.S. midfielder John Harkes, he deflected the ball into his own net in the second match of Group A. The USA won the game 2–1, and as a result, Colombia was eliminated from the tournament in the first round.
On July 2, 1994, Escobar was shot outside "El Indio" bar, located in a Medellín suburb. According to Escobar's girlfriend, the killer shouted "Gooooooooooooool!" (mimicking South American sporting commentators for their calls after a goal is scored) for each of the 12 bullets fired.
The murder was widely believed to be a punishment for the own goal. It is not clear whether the murderer acted on his own initiative, or whether he was sent out by one of the gambling syndicates who had bet large amounts of money on Colombia to qualify for the second round.
The BBC issued an apology the following day after its pundit Alan Hansen commented on another match that "the Argentine defender wants shooting for a mistake like that."
Humberto Muñoz Castro was found guilty of Escobar's murder in June 1995 and sentenced to 43 years in prison. Muñoz had been working as a bodyguard.
The sentence was later reduced to 26 years due to his submitting to the ruling penal code in 2001. Muñoz was released on good behavior due to further reductions from prison work and study in 2005 after serving approximately 11 years, in a controversial move .
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 16:36|