Sucre - Bolivia's footballers have gone on strike and will
refuse to take part in a national team training camp next week unless their
grievances are resolved, their union Fabol has said.
Bolivia are due to begin their World Cup qualifying campaign
in less than one month and the announcement added to the problems in the
country, where the head of the football federation has been arrested on graft
Fabol said on its website (www.fabolivia.com) that the
players were protesting over unpaid wages at two first division clubs,
Wilstermann and San Jose.
The domestic championship would also be halted, Fabol said.
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"Apart from stopping the tournament, our players will
not report to the national team when they are called up, that is our
reality," Fabol's legal advisor David Paniagua told the Uruguayan radio
station La Oral Deportiva in an interview.
"I hope we don't get to this extreme, but it's the
responsibility of the directors. We don't want to keep extending the deadline.
We have exhausted all the channels and there's a limit for everything."
Bolivia, who last qualified for the World Cup in 1994, are
due to kickoff their 2018 qualifying campaign at home to Uruguay on Oct. 8
before visiting Ecuador five days later.
The Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) was thrown into
turmoil when its president, Carlos Chavez, was arrested on July 17 on charges
linked to an alleged scam involving a fund set up for the family of a fan who
died at an international match.
Prosecutors claim the family never received any of the money
raised by the fund.
Chavez, who is also treasurer of the South American Football
Confederation CONMEBOL, is one of five senior FBF officials under investigation
The FBF sacked Chavez last month, however CONMEBOL has
refused to recognise the election in which a new board was elected.
Amid the confusion, former Bolivia forward Julio Cesar
Baldivieso was named as new national team coach last month, only for his side
to lose 7-0 to Argentina in a friendly on his debut.
"This is one of the worst moments in Bolivian
football," Paniagua said.For
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