COLOMBIANS called for calm last night after two players who missed penalties against England suffered insults and threats from furious fans on social media.
Messages targeting Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca started to appear within minutes of Colombia being knocked out of the World Cup following the dramatic shootout.
Uribe’s penalty hit the crossbar while Bacca’s attempt was saved by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The posts, mostly aimed at Bacca, who fans thought took the worse penalty, warned the players they were “dead”, urged them to kill themselves and told them not to return to the South American country.
The sinister messages were made despite a police investigation into early death threats made towards Colombian player Carlos Sanchez after he was sent off three minutes into the team’s World Cup opener against Japan.
Many outraged football fans pointed out that yesterday was the 24th anniversary of the death of Andres Escobar, who was shot dead after his own goal was blamed for sending Colombia home at the 1994 World Cup.
One post by Twitter user David Castaneda warned: “Die Carlos Bacca. Son of a bitch. No-one wants you, gonorrhoea. To this country you don’t return.”
Another, Jhon Duqueismo, wrote: “Thank you to all the players, except to three-time son of a bitch, useless, dead, Carlos Bacca. Don’t come back here.”
HumorFPCosky wrote: “I hate you Carlos Bacca, I hate all of you, I hate your indifference, your animal surname, and your ass’s game. You’re worse than a cancer, at least with cancer you can go to a doctor and find out what you have.
“Carlos Bacca, get depressed and kill yourself, so you don’t continue living this agony.”
Patricio wrote: “Uribe, you are a piece of s***, I hope you die.”
Another user, INFINITO wrote: “That was Mateus Uribe’s last game, that man is already dead.”
Wilson.Gomes wrote: “Get out of the country or the drugs cartels will eat you alive, you DISGRACE”
One Twitter user, victorzamo01, wrote: “Bastard bacca I hope that you die.”
Another, Amro_maldini posted a picture of drug lord Pablo Escobar on Carlos Bacca’s Twitter account and the words “you are next”.
But other Colombian fans expressed their shock at the cruel messages.
Brayan Sanchez wrote: “Don’t wish for the death of Bacca and Uribe. Do we wish to repeat what happened to Andres Escobar? Is this Colombia? Games are won and lost, we are a real country.”
Another, Lois Lane, said: “The anniversary of the death of Andres Escobar and you are calling for the death of Bacca. I’m sorry, I can’t stand such s*** people. Get out of my timeline.”
And MoreJuanSe wrote: “Now they start to insult and threaten Uribe and Bacca. Yesterday was the 24th anniversary of the death of Andres Escobar, please, please! Let’s learn how to lose as well.”
Escobar, 27, was gunned down by a gangland figure 10 days after his mistake against the US knocked Colombia out of the World Cup hosted in the USA.
Hours before the showdown with England in Moscow, Escobar’s brother, Sachi, told of his fears another player could be killed if Colombia failed to get through to the quarter-finals, warning the country “had not learned the lessons” of the tragedy.
He said: “I want to send an important message to those people who think things can be resolved with violence, and with weapons, that they can take someone’s life just because they make a mistake, in this case the life of a football player.
“Football should be a vehicle of peace and social transformation, and at the end of the day, it is just a game.
“But I truly hope that, if Colombia failed to meet these expectations, then the tragedy that happened to my brother doesn’t repeat itself. God forbid that it happens again.”
And he said of the death threats made against Sanchez: “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.
“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.
“The fact that people are still allowed to say these things on social network sites, even threaten him with death… shows me that nothing good came out of Andres’ death, nothing was learned.
“These people are just lowlifes who are not real Colombian football fans, who should be arrested and thrown into jail.”