'Filling the place with kids during this virus isn’t helpful': Football icon Asprilla gives away mountain of condoms amid shortage
Flamboyant former Newcastle and Colombia striker Faustino Asprilla has taken advantage of a global contraceptive shortage after his factory full of branded condoms was forced to close as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A cult figure during a potent career that included 20 goals for Colombia and a hat-trick for Premier League side Newcastle against Spanish giants Barcelona, Asprilla continued to spark headlines when he launched his own condom range in Colombia in 2016.
His factory full of ultra-thin, lubricated, striped and dotted condoms – available in chocolate and strawberry flavours – has been forced to close during the worldwide lockdown, but the 50-year-old has risen to the challenge in a world where the enforced closure of lead supplier Karex Bhd has caused a global contraceptive shortage.
Sitting cross-legged on a floor covered in packs of the condoms he produces, the rake-thin hero took part in a confessional advert to announce the promotion.
Interspersed with footage of a scantily clad woman opening a pack of the goods, Asprilla admitted: “I had a lot of condoms left in my house and I want you to help me use them, because it is very difficult for me to use them all.
“I only have 3,580,000 condoms left in stock until we can reopen the factory. To help with the population situation, I am going to give away a condom with every purchase of a box of three.”
Asprilla voiced his concern that a population confined to their homes could be worried about the idea of pregnancy during a global health crisis. “Suddenly filling the place with children during this virus will not be helpful,” he added.
Known as an exhibitionist in Colombia for his reality TV appearances and skin-baring photoshoots in magazines, Asprilla’s Tino brand features a photo of the striker puffing out his cheeks.
He immediately warmed to the “very good idea” when he was first approached to produce the raunchy range by pharmaceutical company CS-Pharma, initially finding inspiration in a guava flavour based on a scent he felt was “good for romancing.”
Legendary Colombia midfielder Carlos Valderrama is among Asprilla’s famous friends and former teammates to have posed with packs of the condoms.
Asprilla is already reported to have increased sales by 5,000 percent during the pandemic, using couriers to transport the contraceptives and take advantage of the problems being faced by Karex, which manufactures around one in five condoms worldwide.
Replying to disbelieving fans on social media, Asprilla explained: “I make them in my factory but due to the pandemic I had to shut down and send employees home. I am still paying them their salaries.”
Business is evidently bulging for Asprilla the entrepreneur. On Thursday, he advertised a new graphic designer role at the company to his Twitter following of more than 781,000.