Colombia's Faustino Asprilla says hitman wanted to kill Jose Chilavert
Former Colombia striker Faustino Asprilla has said he had to convince a hitman not to kill Paraguayan goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert after the two clashed in a World Cup qualifier in 1997.
In a documentary broadcast on Colombian television channel TelePacifico on Tuesday, Asprilla said the gunman called his hotel room after both he and Chilavert were sent off in a qualifier which Paraguay won 2-1 in Asuncion.
The gunman, who was himself killed in a drug-related shootout in 2004, asked Asprilla for permission to kill Chilavert but the Colombian refused.
"What? Are you crazy?" Asprilla said of his response. "You'll destroy Colombian football, you can't do that. No, no, no, no. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch."
Former Parma and Newcastle United player Asprilla, who turned 50 last Sunday, was one of the top names in Colombian football in the 1990s.
The incident underlines the violence in Colombia, and the once-strong links between football and the country's powerful drug traffickers such as Pablo Escobar.
In one of the darkest episodes of football history, Colombian defender Andres Escobar was shot dead outside a bar in Medellin in 1994 in apparent retribution for an own goal he scored days earlier that hastened their exit from the World Cup in the United States. - REUTERS
Mohamed Salah ruled out of Egypt's matches
Egypt's Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of their African Nations Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros due to an ankle injury.
The Egyptian FA confirmed on Twitter that Salah will miss both matches. It also posted a picture of the striker with a protective boot on his left ankle.
The 27-year-old has had niggling injuries since hurting his ankle against Leicester City last month. - REUTERS