Bogota (AFP) – Colombia’s foreign ministry has urged fans of “Los Cafeteros” (The Coffee Growers) at the World Cup to be on their best behaviour after a series of embarrassing incidents.
The foreign ministry was forced to act after fans boasting of their bad behaviour on the social networks drew outrage.
One Colombian fan, Guillermo Morales, filmed himself insulting two Japanese women.
Approaching the women after Japan’s 2-1 victory over Colombia, he gets them to repeat the Spanish words “I am a bitch”. Not understanding Spanish, they politely complied.
Morales apologized in several radio interviews, saying he was drunk as he left the stadium.
In a second video, three fans are seen drinking alcohol they smuggled into the Saransk stadium inside fake binoculars.
One was an employee of Colombian state airline Avianca, which announced he had been immediately fired.
The South American country’s police representative in Russia, Major Alejandro Saavedra, said they would be banned from attending other matches and be fined.
“The Russian security service has already been warned about this kind of behaviour for the next games,” he said.
Both FIFA and the Russian authorities ban alcohol inside venues.
“Co-nationals who are in Russia for the World Cup must respect the rules of the country that has opened its doors to them,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“They are obliged to abide by what is established by the local authorities and accept the consequences for breaking the rules.”
More than 11,000 Colombians have made the trip to Russia for the World Cup, according to immigration authorities.
Saavedra said despite the incidents, the majority of Colombian fans have been well-behaved.
Colombian Football Federation president Ramon Jesurun thanked the fans for being in Russia to support the team.
“But if you made that effort, do it respecting women, our opponents and the laws of the host country,” he said.