Thursday 31 March 2016, 17:19

Evo Morales' team hosts 'Amigos de Gianni' in Cochabamba

Cochabamba was gripped by football fever as a squad captained by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales welcomed on Thursday the team of FIFA President Gianni Infantino and football greats Cafu, Fernando Hierro, Pablo Aimar, Roberto Ayala, Faustino Asprilla, Martin Palermo, Jorge Sere, Demetrio Angola, Julio Cesar Baldivieso, Nestor Clausen and Julio Zamora - the 'Amigos de Gianni' - for a friendly match. Infantino’s side also featured the president of the Bolivian Football Association (FBF), Rolando Lopez, and CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez.

Additionally, President Morales’ side comprised a wealth of Bolivian stars, including Marco Etcheverry, Carlos Borja, Eduardo Jiguchi and Leonardo Fernandez. FIFA international referee Raul Orozco was at the helm of the match, which ended in a 1-0 penalty kick shootout win for 'Amigos de Gianni', following a goalless draw in front of an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 1,000 spectators at Cochabamba’s Aurora stadium - and to the eyes of thousands of viewers who followed the action live on Bolivian television.

President Infantino had started his visit to Bolivia on Wednesday evening when he was welcomed by Rolando Lopez, president of the Bolivian Football Association (FBF).

"We can’t change the past but we can influence the future and by meeting each other on the pitch we are taking the focus back to football as it should be. The fact that such a large group of football idols came to Cochabamba and that we were able to play against the team of President Morales is a great sign. I want to thank them all," said President Infantino.

Off the pitch, the FIFA President held talks with presidents Morales and Lopez, as well as with CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez, on the current situation facing Bolivia’s football and the plans of the new FBF administration.

Following the match, President Infantino departed for Colombia, the last stop of his South America trip.