Last month during the World Series, Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture in reference to Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. Gurriel was eventually given a five game suspension (starting at the beginning of the 2018 season) by MLB, and the incident cast a shadow over what was otherwise a fantastic World Series.
Apparently, Colombia soccer player Edwin Cardona wasn’t watching the World Series. During Colombia’s 2-1 loss to South Korea in a friendly (which took place in South Korea), Cardona made the same “slanted eyes” gesture that Gurriel made towards the Asian team.
Here’s a screenshot, in case you missed it.
The incident came after a foul by Colombia’s James Rodriguez, which led to him attempting to pick up Jin-Su Kim of South Korea and performing an amazing flop after Kim brushed him away.
Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman didn’t offer a comment on the incident.
“I didn’t see that gesture and I cannot comment on that,” Pekerman told reporters.
“It was a physical game. Things happen during a game like this. I can’t comment further on an incident that I didn’t see with my own eyes.”
FIFA is an organization that loves to tout its commitment to eradicating racism from the game, yet most of their focus is on punishing nations, clubs, and fans rather than players. It’s unclear whether or not Cardona will receive a punishment, though FIFA can really send a message by dishing out a punishment that is more severe than a slap on the wrist. They won’t have the fortitude to suspend Cardona for any World Cup matches next summer, and they won’t render a decision before Colombia’s final friendly of 2017 on Tuesday against China, so I doubt Cardona is going to end up being harshly disciplined for what he did. It’s a damn shame.