Colombia roared on by expatriates and good feeling before England
On Saturday, England will face Colombia in their Women’s World Cup quarter-final, not only facing an opponent who combines skill and physicality, youth and experience, but also facing Colombian supporters.
One of the most outstanding aspects of this World Cup has been the loud, colourful crowds supporting South America. There is nothing like hearing their ear-splitting, goose bump-raising rendition of the national anthem.
There may have been some Colombians who flew from Bogota to Australia, but a large number were already in Australia as part of Colombian expatriate communities.
BBC Sport quoted Valentina Pena, sports broadcaster for W Radio Colombia, as saying: “Many people think we’re just tourists here to watch the World Cup.”
Colombians are going and working in Australia, traveling, studying English. So there are many Colombians all over Australia.
In addition to being so many, Latinos are also loud – we’re a loud group.
“Perhaps people travelled from other cities to attend the Sydney games.
The Australian government wants people to go to Perth (for the match against Morocco) because it is much easier to get a work visa there.
We saw a lot of Colombians, and I found a high school friend I hadn’t known was there.”
In 2021, there are more than 38,000 Colombians living permanently in Australia, while more than 28,000 Colombians are in the country as students or on student visas.
Kevin, a Colombian expat living in Brisbane for seven years, is one of those expats.
His nation’s 1-0 last-16 win over Jamaica booked their first Women’s World Cup quarterfinal and a meeting with the Lionesses after watching many World Cup games in his adopted hometown.
Kevin – named after Hollywood actor Kevin Costner because his mother loved him – told BBC Sport: “When we arrive, we have a kind of student visa, then some people work full time in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
“There are also Brazilians, Argentinians, and Mexicans, and they are supporting us, because we are Latin Americans.”
Colombian fans have been treated to some of the best football played at the tournament, especially from young winger Linda Caicedo, who has established herself as one of the world’s most exciting talent.
After Colombia’s victory over Jamaica, manager Nelson Abadia expressed gratitude to fans for their support.
He said the team takes the positive impact [of the fans] with them to the pitch. A permanent collaboration has been established.
Colombia is a very interesting team, this has captivated the fans. We are quick and crafty, and this is what has captivated the fans.”