April 28, 2010 / 1:11 AM / 9 years ago

Soccer-Bolivia to hold 2015 Copa America, says President Morales

LA PAZ, April 27 (Reuters) - Bolivia will stage the 2015 Copa America if Brazil opt against doing so because they are hosting the World Cup and Olympic Games the years before and after, Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Tuesday.

Morales’s remark at a sports event in his country contradicts a recent agreement that Chile would stage the world’s oldest championship for national teams if Brazil, whose turn it is, opted out.

“In the next three or four years we (in South America) will receive international events, the Olympics ... the World Cup and the Copa America championship which will be in Bolivia in 2015,” Morales said.

A spokesman for the South American Football Confederation (CSF), however, told Reuters they had received no formal request from the Bolivian federation.

“There is no official request to the ‘Conmebol’ (CSF) on the part of the Bolivian federation,” CSF executive secretary Francisco Figueredo said.

The CSF will meet this week at its Paraguayan headquarters in Asuncion to establish whether Brazil will remain the Copa America host nation in 2015.

“Any association can make their request at the meeting but so far there is none,” the spokesman added.

Brazil had looked favourably on Chile as a replacement before a massive earthquake on Feb. 27, which devastated large areas of southern and central regions and killed nearly 500 people, cast doubts on the idea.

The South American championship, now more commonly known by the name of its trophy, has been rotated around the 10 member countries since 1987 starting with Argentina whose turn comes around again next year.

Brazil last staged the tournament in 1989, Chile in 1991 and Bolivia in 1997. The most recent was in 2007 in Venezuela where Brazil beat Argentina in the final.

Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires; Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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