Avianca Cargo employee sacked after World Cup binocular incident

22 / 06 / 2018

A Colombian employee of Avianca Cargo lost his job and faced a social media backlash after drinking a shot of alcohol smuggled into a World Cup game in a pair of fake binoculars.

The incident began when Avianca Cargo regional manager for Asia-Europe Luis Felipe Gómez was filmed drinking a shot poured from the false binoculars smuggled in by other fans during Columbia’s match with Japan.

According to the BBC, the Spanish speaking media were heavily critical of the incident, which saw the word “binoculares” trending on social media by the end of the game.

The president’s son even tweeted about the incident.

The incident highlights cultural differences, reports said. It was pointed out that after the same match, Japanese fans were seen cleaning up rubbish from the stadium.

The BBC said that some had accused the people in the video of encouraging a negative stereotype of Colombians, comparing them to drug smugglers.

Over in the UK, it is unlikely the incident would have ever trended on social media. If it had, the employee may have received an official telling off, but many would have been impressed with the ingenuity of the binocular receptacle.

In a statement, Avianca said it rejected all kinds of actions that go against its principles and values as a company.

“Therefore we have taken the decision to terminate the work contract of the employee of Avianca Cargo present at the World Cup, whose behavior violated the law and regulations in force in the framework of the event, by consuming liquor that was illegally entered into one of the stadiums,” the airline said.

Gómez also took to social media, via his sister’s Facebook account, saying that he took the drink in a moment of euphoria and happiness at seeing Columbia in the World Cup.

He added that he was trying to grasp how the unfortunate and out-of-context video could end the honour of a person.