SPORTS

Commander In Chief At The Soccer Pitch: Bolivian President Signed Up As Midfielder

If you're the manager of a professional soccer team, how do you tell the squad's starting midfielder that he's been benched — when such player is the president of the country?

Well, that is just what Bolivia's Sport Boys manager Néstor Clausen will have to figure out now that the Santa Cruz-based team signed President Evo Morales to its side. 

Morales, who will suit up and play about 20-30 minutes per match, is an avid soccer player, frequently sparring with journalists, union leaders, diplomats and even other presidents on the field. It will be a tough gig for opposing defenders come next season.

The president has not yet commented on the new gig, in which Sports Boys says he is to receive the minimum wage, or $213.

Morales is planning to run for a third term in the general election scheduled for December.

The 54-year-old president's most famous soccer match, in 2007, was played on Bolivia's highest peak to protest a ban on high-altitude games imposed by international soccer's governing body, FIFA.

Sport Boys' president, Mario Cronenbol, announced the deal Friday. The club ranks ninth among 12 teams in the standings with the national league in playoffs.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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