Former Colombia soccer great, Faustino “Tino” Asprilla, was unintentionally caught up in the country’s coffee protest Monday, and ended up enraging protesters and having to escape in disguise.
The former athlete, who doesn’t even drink coffee, was traveling to Manizales but was stopped en route because of a demonstration on the roads in the Tolima department.
Asprilla stepped out of his car and began to greet the protesters but after half an hour, when he grew tired of the niceties, he called in the assistance of the police to help him leave the town. This enraged the protesters who demanded that the former soccer star get up on a platform and support them.
While the protesters were growing more excited, Asprilla was in a supermarket taking photos with some children. “I was shocked when the [store] owner told me to hide, that they [some protesters] wanted to lynch me,” said the Valle del Cauca native to Radio Antena 2.
The angry protesters destroyed the truck Asprilla was driving, which evidently belonged to a friend. The former star had to put on a helmet for disguise and speed off on a motorcycle.
“The protesters …. wanted me to speak on a topic which I have nothing to do with. Ironically I don’t even drink coffee. I told them this and they got even angrier, they said I was Colombian and I had to support them. I really think they need a public figure to get attention, but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Asprilla.
The player noted that it was a small group of protesters that showed aggression towards him and his vehicle and that the majority of the crowd was polite.
This is not the first time mishap has befallen Asprilla in recent history – while off at the Madonna concert in November his house was burglarized.
- “Tino” Asprilla salio ileso de incidente por paro cafatero (El Espectador)
- Former Colombian soccer star “Tino” Asprilla robbed (Colombia Reports)