Early Doors

Bolivian club sign nation’s 54-year-old President, expect him to play in midfield

Early Doors

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A first division Bolivian professional football club has signed President Evo Morales to play midfield at a salary of $213 per month (£126.71) and expects the leftist leader to make his debut in August.

The 54-year-old footie fanatic will wear number 10 for the Sport Boys team, which is based in the Southeastern province of Santa Cruz and rose to become a division one team last year.

The first division club said the president would play for about 20 minutes per match, but not in each game.

"He loves football and he plays well," Sport Boys president Mario Cronenbold told Reuters.

"He'll wear the No 10 shirt. We'll send him a list of matches and he'll chose which ones to play in."

Morales' monthly paycheck will be in line with the impoverished South American country's minimum wage.

Cronenbold brushed off questions about Morales fitness to play professional football.

"As I told the president, jokingly, we are not putting the President of Uruguay on the field," Cronenbold said, referring to Uruguay's 78-year-old Jose Mujica.

"We are contracting a person who is in very good shape and who lives football."

In 2007, he played a match at 19,700 ft above sea level in a protest against efforts to stop Bolivia playing its international fixtures at high altitude.

Morales has been president of Bolivia since 2006, and is favoured by the opinion polls to win re-election for a second time this year.

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