The Colombian ambassador to the UK has hit out at the Sun for its allusion to his country’s cocaine trafficking problem in a cheeky front page headline cheering England on against Colombia ahead of their World Cup tie tonight.
The Sun’s headline reads: “As 3 Lions face nation that gave world Shakira, great coffee and er, other stuff, we say … Go Kane!”
Ambassador Nestor Osorio-Londono said it had “stigmatised” the country which continues to fight the illicit drug trade. It is estimated that approximately half of the global supply of cocaine comes from Colombia.
Osorio-Londono said: “It’s rather sad that they use such a festive and friendly environment as the World Cup to target a country and continue to stigmatise it with a completely unrelated issue.”
“Respect, fair play and joy for the game is all that matters tonight. We’ll be cheering for Colombia and hoping we can all enjoy a great match.”
Colombian national newspaper, El Espectador, also described the cover as “controversial” and “offensive”.
It said: “Hours before England faced the team of José Pékerman for a spot in the 2018 Russian quarterfinals, the UK newspaper reminded the country of its tough fight with drugs.”
The paper added: “Colombia’s response will be within the field.”
A spokesperson for the Sun said: “Like the ambassador, we’re looking forward to a good game tonight against a great footballing nation.”
They said the front page was “suitably light-hearted considering the context” and that it was “not tremendously easy to come up with puns about Gabriel Garcia Marquez”.