November 12, 2018 / 11:06 PM / a month ago

Colombian player survives shooting attack after match

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Colombia's Juan Fernando Quintero scores their first goal from a free kick REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Deportivo Cali defender Juan Quintero narrowly escaped injury when his car was shot at after the Colombian team failed to make the first division playoffs, local media reported on Monday.

Quintero was in a car with his brother following the game against Pasto when two men on a motorcycle sprayed his car with bullets, he told Colombian reporters.

“I was driving to my flat with my brother when I felt someone knocking on the car window and I saw a gun pointing at me,” the 23-year-old said.

“The only thing I could do was react as quickly as possible and accelerate away. But they fired and luckily the bullets only hit the door. Thank God I survived uninjured as did my brother.

“These things are inexplicable, football is a game. Today it was me, and tomorrow it could be other players. This can’t happen.”

Quintero, who made five appearances last season for Spanish club Sporting Gijon, played in Deportivo Cali’s 1-0 win earlier on Sunday which left them outside the top eight playoff places.

The safety of Colombian players has been in the spotlight since gunmen shot dead Andres Escobar just days after his own goal at the 1994 World Cup in a match against the United States.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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