Celebrations after Colombia’s World Cup match against Japan on Tuesday showed an 80% decrease in reported fights and no fatalities, according to the Colombian Ministry of the Interior.
Soccer-related hooliganism has declined in Colombia since the national team won their first match against Greece on June 14.
“This is a success for all Colombians, local authorities, the security forces,” stated Aurelio Iragorri Valencia, Colombia’s Interior Minister.
Colombia’s opening day at the World Cup, where Colombia beat Greece 3-0, ended with thousands of fights and 10 dead throughout the country.
“We hope in the next game Saturday against Uruguay (…) we can celebrate goals together, calm, at peace, and happy,” stated Valencia in the press release.
Past post-game conflict
Yesterday’s violence level is a success after Colombia’s opening game of the 2014 World Cup against Greece erupted in bloodshed and left 10 dead with nine of those deaths in the country’s capital, Bogota.
“There was not just partying, but a problem of security. Around 3,000 fights, 1,500 announced via 123 [police phone number], that resulted in over 100 injured with knives, 15 with firearms, 9 dead, traffic accidents, roadblocks,” stated Bogota’s mayor Gustavo Petro in Colombia’s Semana news magazine.
The city’s mayor, Gustavo Petro enforced a “dry law” for the next game. This meant that alcohol was banned during Colombia’s second World Cup match against Ivory Coast for public safety.
During this time, Petro wrote on Twitter, “We hope for celebrations of soccer in peace. Reject violence.”
When it was game day again in Colombia, Petro made the same decision and enforced the alcohol ban once more.
Colombia’s team is preparing for the country’s first appearance in the round of 16 since Italy, 1990 and will face Uruguay on Saturday.