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Tifo of the Week – América De Cali celebrate their 70th anniversary

América de Cali celebrated their 97th anniversary in style, thanks to a devil-inspired tifo displayed in the south stand of the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero. The tifo preceded América de Cali’s league fixture against Atlético Bucaramanga.

97 Years of América de Cali

The match against Atlético Bucaramanga took place three days after the official founding of the club 97 years ago. Since the club was founded back in 1927, América de Cali have gained two distinctive nicknames. These nicknames are “La Mechita” and “The Red Devils.”

“La Mechita” translates to “the fuse” in English, referring to the club’s explosive attacking play, particularly in the 1980s, when the club won five domestic league (Categoría Primera A) titles.

Meanwhile, “The Red Devils” is a nickname that originates from the 1930s when Colombian journalists described the América de Cali running across the pitch like red devils, due to their aggressive and intense approach, while playing in red shirts.

An American writer and photographer, Kurt Hollander, who lives in Cali, Colombia, wrote an article on the fanatic América de Cali supporters and the importance of football to their culture.

Regarding the Red Devil nickname, Hollander said: “América’s nefarious devil logo has often been blamed for the team’s misfortunes. On several occasions, the doomed motif has been removed from their uniform, and once it was even exorcised by a priest in a ceremony in the middle of the field, but the fanatical support of the followers always brings it back, despite the fact that by far most Colombians are Catholic.

“The symbol is ubiquitous throughout the city (though mostly in the most economically deprived barrios), on shirts, sweatpants, and hats, on the outside and insides of cars, taxis, and buses, painted on murals and sidewalks of the city, and tattooed on the arms, bellies and backs of a sizable sector of the city’s population. More than any religious icon and perhaps even more than the Colombian flag, the devil is the image that is most venerated in Cali.”

You can read Hollander’s article here.

Tifo Explained

One of América de Cali’s main sponsors is Cerveza Aguila, who are the biggest beer brand in Colombia. Since they have formed a partnership with the club, Cerveza Aguila have released special edition beers, as well as promoting select players from the América de Cali team.

To celebrate the 97th anniversary of the club, Cerveza Aguila tweeted on Monday, February 12, that if they gained 5,000 subscribers before the game against Atlético Bucaramanga, they would help to produce the biggest devil tifo ever seen at Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero.

The tifo depicted Joel Graterol and Adrián Ramos either side of a red devil holding a Cerveza Aguila beer can. Above, the three figures read: “La Pasión de un Pueblo,” which translates to “the passion of a people.”

Another detail about the tifo is that Graterol is holding a devil’s pitchfork with the number 15 in the middle of it, referring to the amount of Colombian league titles that the club have won.

América de Cali tifo
América de Cali produced a devil-inspired tifo to celebrate their 97th anniversary – Credit @Barras_LATAM on X/Twitter.

Cerveza Aguila’s tifo was 50 x 30 meters in length, covering a large portion of the south stand. It was part of an initiative by Bavaria, whose portfolio of beer brands includes Cerveza Aguila. The “Promesas” initiative aimed to establishing a closer connection between fans and the brand, as well reaffirming their commitment to the club.

Alvaro de Luna, vice president of Marketing at Bavaria said: “As official sponsors of soccer in our country, our commitment to América de Cali is not limited only to the sporting field, it also extends to a deeper commitment to the fans. Through this sponsorship and support during the match, we seek to strengthen the ties between the team and its fans, demonstrating that, with the union of all football players, we are capable of achieving great sporting achievements and giving more reasons to give to Colombians.”

Match Result

The game was much less inspiring than the tifo as the Red Devils drew 0-0 with Atlético Bucaramanga. After seven games in Categoría Primera A, América de Cali sit 14th in the table, eight points behind the leaders Deportes Tolima.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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