World Cup Excitement Leads to Booze Ban in Colombia

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The World Cup is certainly exciting, but you must admit there's a fair amount of downtime between goals. You know what downtime is great for? Drinking. A lot. Copiously and in excess. As it turns out, that's exactly what fans in Colombia (and certainly the U.S.) have been doing. As a result, Colombian police have said at least ten cities across the nation will be joining Bogota for a ban of alcohol sales for the remainder of the tournament. 

The Colombian national team took first place in its World Cup group with three dominating performances and will be moving on to the next round. While this is certainly a reason to celebrate, the celebrations have taken an unfortunately violent form. After the 2-1 victory against Ivory Coast last week, shopping centers were vandalized, three officers were injured and about 30 young people were arrested. In all, there have been at least ten deaths and almost 14,000 violent events across Colombia during the World Cup. Many of these incidents involved alcohol. 

Along with an alcohol ban, some cities will institute a town curfew. Sogamoso in central Colombia will have an 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew for minors. There are also restrictions being placed on selling spray can foam (because what's a party without some foam?) and on riding motorcycles with a second passenger. Officials have also asked fans to stop throwing cornstarch and flour during the celebratory marches. The throwing of white substances leads to arguing between fans, which leads to violence. 

Even the players are supporting police officers and Colombian officials in their efforts to prevent violence. “We have to be happy but there’s no need to exaggerate, we have to try to celebrate with a lot of calmness, a lot of peace, a lot of tolerance," said Pablo Armero, a Colombian defense player. 

It is unclear if any of the violent incidents in Colombia involved biting

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.