|Future Champions? Colombia's national football team.|
tainted by narcotrafficking money.
Colombia used to be a contender. That was back in the era of Pablo Escobar and other cocaine kingpins, for whom owning a football team was a question of pride and useful for money laundering. So, they poured the money in.
Today, besides declining in quality, many of Colombia's professional football teams are in financial crisis, and even bankrupt. Deportes Quindio fell so far behind on players' salaries that last month the players refused to travel to Bogotá for a game - so the owner replaced them with juvenile players instead.
Now, Colombia hopes that a new Law of Football will help recover its old glory and clean up the national football league.
|Colombian football. Ready to get up again?|
Recently, Colombia won the world indoor soccer championship - albeit playing at home. In July and August, the country will host the FIFA under-20 World Cup, its biggest-ever sports event. So Colombia will get the chance to recover old glories.
I hope it happens. Colombians deserve better.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours