Rene Higuita is a Role Model for South Africa’s youthBy: Bob | January 18th, 2007
You are the Colombian ambassador to South Africa. Your job is to help build bridges between the two countries. You want to help South Africa’s children have a better, brighter future. Who do you turn to make this dream a reality?
The answer, of course, is former Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita who has been offered a position to work in South Africa by his country’s ambassador.
Speaking from the Colombian city of Santa Marta, Higuita explained that one of the aspects of the proposal made by Ambassador Carlos Moreno de Caro that attracted him most is the chance to build schools of football in South Africa.
Higuita said he would look forward to help children get into sports as “a way out of all difficulties.”
If there is anyone who is familiar with difficulties it is Higuita? Just take a look at a snippet of his bio.
Higuita was imprisoned in 1993, after getting involved in a drug cartel kidnapping. Acting as a go-between for the drug barons Pablo Escobar and Carlos Molina, he was largely responsible for securing the release of Molina’s daughter by delivering the ransom money. He received $64,000 for his services, which breaks Colombian law as it is an offence to profit from a kidnapping. He was incarcerated for 7 months before being released without charge. Commenting on the case, he has stated that “I’m a footballer, I didn’t know anything about kidnapping laws.” Because of the term in prison Higuita was not fit for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. In another scandal, he tested positive for cocaine on November 23, 2004 while playing for an Ecuadorian football club.
If that doesn’t impress the kids enough he could always show them the video of him having plastic surgery on a reality television show in Colombia or introduce them to his fellow role model pal, Diego Maradona.
Most frightening of all is the thought that an entire generation of South African keepers will grow up doing this: