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Former Colombia soccer player Albeiro Usuriaga shot dead

February 11, 2004
CALI, Colombia (AP) -- Former Colombia soccer player Albeiro Usuriaga was shot and killed Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in a popular nightclub district, police said.

Usuriaga, 37, was out with friends when several gunmen opened fire on him. He was rushed to a hospital where he died, police chief Col. Mario Gutierrez said.

Usuriaga helped Colombia qualify for the 1990 World Cup in Italy but was removed from the team before the start of the tournament for lack of discipline.

During his career, Usuriaga played for Spain's Malaga, Independiente of Argentina and Colombia's Atletico Nacional.

In 1997, the Argentine Football Association slapped a two-year ban on Usuriaga for testing positive for cocaine while playing for Independiente.

He was also once detained by Colombian authorities for allegedly driving a stolen motorbike.

Colombia's most infamous soccer killing occurred after the 1994 World Cup. Andres Escobar was shot outside a Colombian bar days after scoring an own-goal in a first-round match against the United States.
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