British tabloid slammed for drug pun in World Cup headline

English tabloid, The Sun, has come under fire for promoting its coverage of England’s World Cup Round of 16 match against Colombia with a controversial front page headline.

The newspaper made implicit reference to Colombia’s drug trafficking problems with the line: “As 3 Lions face nation that gave world Shakira, great coffee and er, other stuff, we say … GO KANE!”

It’s an obvious play on words. “Go Kane” – a reference to star English striker Harry Kane, pictured on the front page – rhymes with “cocaine.” Colombia is the world’s leading producer of the drug.

That, of course, has nothing to do with football.

‘SABOTAGE’: Fans fume over ‘dirty’ tactic missed by referee

‘WHAT IS GOING ON’: Colombia official condemned over ‘pathetic’ incident

Colombia’s ambassador to the UK, Nestor Osorio Londono, was one of many to point that out, and to criticise the newspaper.

“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,” Osorio Londono said.

“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.”

Londono wasn’t the only one to speak up about the distasteful headline, with many punters taking to social media to slam the paper.

Colombia’s illegal drug trade has torn the country apart over the past several decades.

It has been criticised, and justifiably so, by Colombian media, supporters, and people around the world. It’s provocation for the sake of provocation (and publicity).

Local Colombian media outlets slammed the headline, with broadcaster Caracol TV stating the front page “caused great upset” to locals.

A spokesperson for The Sun said the front page was “suitably light-hearted considering the context”.

“Like the (Colombian) ambassador, we’re looking forward to a good game tonight against a great footballing nation.”

With FC Yahoo