Colombian police are investigating death threats made against midfielder Carlos Sanchez after his red card in their 2-1 defeat by Japan.
The former Aston Villa man was sent off for stopping a goalbound Japanese effort with his hand just three minutes into the match, which took place almost exactly 24 years on from Andres Escobar’s own goal at the 1994 World Cup.
Escobar was shot dead on his return home from the tournament after his goal led to Colombia’s early elimination. One Twitter user posted a split picture of Sanchez and Escobar with the words: ‘I propose a dream.’
Another Twitter account posted: ‘If Andres Escobar was killed for scoring an own goal, then Carlos Sanchez should be murdered and his dead body p****d on.’
The judicial arm of the Colombian police have assigned a special team to investigate the threats made to Sanchez, 32, who is suspended for Sunday’s clash with Poland.
Should Colombia lose they would be staring at an early exit from the World Cup, with Senegal to play in their final Group H match on Thursday, June 28.
The top two teams from Colombia’s group will face the top two teams from England’s group, with the Three Lions favourites to progress along with Belgium.