Bolivian president want to "nationalize' football
By Paola Flores, Associated Press Writer
The populist president was speaking to reporters in a central region of Bolivia two days after Bolivia was beaten 3-1 by Ecuador in a South American World Cup qualifying match. Bolivia and Peru are the only countries in South America that have been eliminated from any chance of reaching next year's 32-team tournament in South Africa
Morales, widely known as an avid football fan, is tapping into an issue that is sure to increase his popularity -- improving Bolivia's weak national team
FIFA rules prohibit political interference in the sport.
FIFA suspended neighboring Peru last year after the government refused to recognize the election of the president of the country's football federation. FIFA lifted the suspension a month later.
FIFA has also been in conflict with countries like Iraq, Kuwait, Poland and Spain. FIFA says it has "increasingly noticed that the affairs of member associations are being influenced by third parties."
"One should think about improving. We're not talking about intervention," he said. "The state will cooperate totally regarding this kind of change."
Last year FIFA imposed a ban on playing matches at high-altitude venues. The Bolivian capital of La Paz is located at 3,600 meters (11,800 feet). Morales called the rule "deplorable" and a violation of human rights and sharply criticized FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
FIFA later lifted the ban.