FIFA chief pledges youth World Cup in Bolivia

Cochabamba: FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he hoped Bolivia could host a youth World Cup one day, although he did not specify which age group the tournament is for. Infantino, newly-elected president of football's world governing body, made the remarks on Thursday during his trip to the country, one of the stops on his visit to South America, reports Xinhua. "We are going to make all the necessary arrangements so that Bolivia will host a youth World Cup. We hope to make it happen," Infantino said during an award ceremony held during the half-time of a match he played with Bolivian President Evo Morales here. Even though Infantino did not specify which age group or what year, he confirmed that FIFA would do all it could to grant Bolivia its wish of hosting a youth World Cup. Previously Bolivian President Evo Morales had asked the FIFA chief about the possibility of Bolivia hosting a World Cup in any category. "Confidently I want to tell you that with this experience, we are prepared to guarantee this soccer World Cup in the men's or women's under 17 or under 20 sporting event. With great respect, my request, on behalf of the Bolivian people is a tribute to Bolivia's bicentenary (of Independence in 2025)," Morales said. The Bolivian president is aware that organising a World Cup event will mean that the country's soccer pitches will need to be improved and the teams will need to adapt to playing at higher altitudes. Morales and Infatino played a goalless friendly match with their respective teams on Thursday morning in local football club Aurora's sports complex here. The match went to penalties where Infantino's team came out victorious. Infantino, who arrived in Bolivia on Wednesday after visiting Paraguay and Uruguay, is now on his way to Colombia.