Bolivia FA president arrested amid country’s World Cup qualifier against Ecuador

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Interim Bolivia Football Federation (FBF) president Marcos Rodriguez was detained by police during his country’s 3-2 defeat to Ecuador in the 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

The cause of his detention has not been revealed, but was announced on Nov. 5 that the Bolivia’s Footballers Union (FABOL) had filed a complaint to the Prosecutors’ office accusing Rodriguez of corruption in the FBF.

Rodriguez has reportedly failed to comply with a court ruling that recognises federation vice-president Robert Blanco as interim president of the FBF.

Rodriguez was sitting in the stands of the Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz and watched part of the game before being taken away by police.

Local media posted a video of Rodriguez being escorted to a car by police dressed in plainclothes.

FBF executive director Gaston Uribe confirmed the detention.

“Police came on a special commission to apprehend Marco Rodriguez,” Uribe told reporters. “We believe that there has been bad faith here, we believe that the ultimate goal is not to have an election.”

Elections for the new president were scheduled for Friday and Saturday but are now uncertain.

Rodriguez, a lawyer by profession and former vice-president of the FBF, took over the role on an interim basis following the death of FBF president Cesar Salinas from COVID-19 complications in July.

Bolivian football has been in crisis with different factions trying to gain control of the Federation. The Bolivian league has not re-started since it was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic in March.