Rodriguez, Lerma and Sanchez 'at centre of Colombia punch-up'

James Rodriguez, Jefferson Lerma and Davinson Sanchez ‘at centre of punch-up in Colombia changing room after home defeat by Uruguay’ as tensions mount over Carlos Queiroz’s management

  • One player ‘grabbed by the throat’ following 3-0 defeat by Uruguay last Friday
  • Players are thought to be annoyed at favouritism towards James Rodriguez
  • But Rodriguez also angry at manager Carlos Queiroz after losing captaincy
  • Colombia have made a poor start to their World Cup qualifying campaign 

English based trio James Rodriguez, Jefferson Lerma and Davinson Sanchez are reportedly at the centre of a ‘punch-up’ in the Colombia national team following a changing room spat.

Tempers are thought to have flared among the squad after a home defeat by Uruguay on Friday in a World Cup qualifier.

According to La Luciernaga, the incident saw ‘one player grabbed by the throat’ following the 3-0 loss in Barranquilla. Everton’s Rodriguez and Lerma of Bournemouth played the full 90 minutes but Tottenham defender Sanchez was not selected.

Everton star James Rodriguez is thought to be involved in a Colombia changing room bust up

Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma (left) and Tottenham’s Hotspur Davinson Sanchez are also linked with the bust-up that is thought to have occurred after a defeat by Uruguay

Lerma was booked during the contest in a game that saw Rodriguez’s Toffees’ team-mate Yerry Mina sent off in the final minute as goals from Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and substitute Darwin Nunez saw the visitors take all three points.

It is believed that the changing room incident incident stems from Colombia players being unhappy with manager Carlos Queiroz over bowing to the needs of Rodriguez who is widely regarded as the talisman and key figure in the national set-up.

However, Rodriguez is also unhappy with Queiroz having lost the captaincy for the shambolic defeat by Uruguay to former Arsenal keeper David Ospina. 

Players are allegedly annoyed by manager Carlos Queiroz’s (right) pandering to Rodriguez

But the Everton talisman is reportedly unhappy over losing the captaincy in the Uruguay loss

Sanchez, who is regular starter in the Tottenham Hotspur defence, and Lerma, who features in midfield for Bournemouth, are thought to be heavily involved in the incident which now leaves Queiroz’s position under question.

Colombia, who reached the last-16 of the World Cup in Russia two years ago before being knocked out by England on penalties, have made a poor start to the campaign to qualify for Qatar 2022 having only beaten Venezuela in their first four qualifying games.

Following the defeat by Uruguay they suffered a humiliating 6-1 loss in Ecuador where Rodriguez, who scored, was restored as captain and featured alongside Sanchez and Lerma, with the latter departing as a sub in the second half. 

With the captaincy restored, Rodriguez scored from the penalty spot but his Colombia side still went down 6-1 in Ecuador on Wednesday

Pressure is now mounting on Queiroz following a poor start to World cup qualification

Colombia sit seventh in the table on four points in a system which sees the top four advance to the finals and the fifth placed team advance to a play-off.

Queiroz, a former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and a former Real Madrid manager took charge of the Colombia side in February in 2019.

He previously had spent eight years and 100 games as Iran manager, whom he guided towards consecutive World Cups in 2014 and 2018. 

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