ByLA PAZ - FIFA opened last-ditch talks
with Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday to try to save
the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) from heavy sanctions over
its massive debts.
FBF headquarters in La Paz are set to be auctioned and its
bank accounts frozen but the meeting between football enthusiast
Morales and envoys from the game's world governing body
concluded after two hours without any concrete agreements.
"We discussed the (FBF's tax) problems in general, not
concrete measures. We are talking. The meeting was very positive
and we'll see what comes of it," FIFA envoy Primo Corvaro told a
The meeting was held only a few hours after Bolivia's tax
authorities confirmed the auctioning next Monday of the head
offices of the FBF, which has long standing debts of $2.1
Morales, unhappy with the FBF and the way football is run in
his country, had previously refused to meet with FBF directors
including their recently re-elected president Carlos Chavez, who
sought FIFA's help after failing to get the auction halted.
South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) director
Eugenio Figueredo hinted that Morales had not backed down on his
stance of not giving the FBF preferential treatment.
"There are details (of the meeting) that we can't reveal. We
haven't come here to modify the structures of Bolivian law,"
Figueredo told reporters.
He said, however, that the meeting had managed to get
discussions started on how to resolve the problems of Bolivian
football, which is poorly organised, suffers from low
attendances at matches and is riven with in-fighting.
"We've come to try to unify the differences that exist today
in Bolivian football... We've tried to create a link between
FIFA, the Conmebol, the federation and the government that will
in time benefit Bolivian football," Figueredo said.
"That a government should receive FIFA, that the Conmebol
should be present here and be received by the president, that's
However, Figueredo evaded questions as to whether FIFA and
the Conmebol could pay the tax debts of the FBF, one of the
poorest federations in South America.
Morales, who enjoys a close relationship with FIFA president
Sepp Blatter, recently called for major changes in the FBF so
Bolivia could try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Bolivia, who last reached the finals in the United States in
1994, have done badly in the last four South American qualifying
campaigns, never finishing higher than seventh in the 10-nation
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