LA PAZ: The interim head of Bolivia’s soccer federation (FBF) was detained by police over allegations of corruption during Thursday's World Cup qualifying match with Ecuador, an associate said.
Plainclothes police surprised Marco Rodriguez while he was sitting in the stands with players not involved in the game at the Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz.
Some clubs and the professional soccer players' union in Bolivia had accused Rodriguez of corruption and illegal profiteering, in addition to failing to comply with a court ruling that forces him to leave the presidency of the FBF.
Various factions are vying for control of the body. Votes are scheduled for Friday and Saturday for the 2020-2022 presidency of the FBF.
"We believe that there has been bad faith here, we believe that the ultimate goal is not to have an election," said Gaston Uribe, the executive director of the FBF and a close associate of Rodriguez.
"Police came on a special commission to apprehend Marco Rodríguez," Uribe told the ATB television channel.
Uribe said Rodriguez had suffered sudden health problems when the police tried to transfer him from La Paz to the city of Santa Cruz to continue the judicial process, and he was admitted to hospital.
Ecuador won the game 3-2 thanks to a late penalty.
(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Adam Jourdan; editing by Grant McCool)