Deportivo Cali are one of the most prestigious clubs in Colombian football, but their preparation for a league match against Deportes Tolima on Saturday was not the kind of smooth logistical operation one comes to expect from a top flight football club.
This was because they need to be given a lift to the Estadio Manuel Murillo Toro in a Police van after being stopped on the way to the match on a routine check. According to The Guardian, the Cali players were at risk of being stranded on the road thanks to a drunk bus driver.
A drink driving test found the man to be over the legal alcohol limit to drive and was stopped from driving any further on the 330km trip to the home of Tolima. This left the police will no option but to finish the job themselves so as to not feel the wrath of a stadium full of football fans expecting a top flight clash.
"Our squad had to get to the stadium in a police bus after a routine stop on the road there detected that the bus driver was over the legal limit of alcohol,” the club said in a statement relayed in the report.
Cali players obviously did not react to well to this unfortunate turn of events and when they finally turned up to the venue they were sundry beaten 4-1 by their opponents. To be fair to them, wondering if you are even going to get there that all because of a plastered bus driver could conceivably get into an unhelpful frame of mind.
Some Cali fans may be wondering if there wasn't some foul play going on, as the reports tells that the visitors claimed it was not they who booked the bus driver and that it was Tolima who were responsible for providing transport for the game. How convenient.
Defeat for Cali saw a promising start to the season come to a halt; a draw and two wins in the first three Primera A Apertura matches had them close to the top of the table. But this defeat now has them sitting mid-table just a point above Tolima, who stopped a run of two straight defeats with the resounding victory.