Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Bolivian president fractures his nose in soccer game

DPA , LA PAZ

Bolivian President Evo Morales suffered a nose fracture during an indoor soccer game over the weekend and will need 48 hours of rest, the government said on Monday.

Morales, touring the northeastern city of Ayopaya, teamed up with others accompanying him to play a local team, when the latter's goalie "committed a foul against the president of the Republic," the government said in a statement.

Morales, an amateur soccer player, received emergency care at a clinic in the city of Cochabamba, in the center of the country.

"The doctors verified a fracture of the septum and after their intervention they diagnosed a 48-hour rest," the government said.

Also on Monday, a new poll published by La Razon daily showed popular support for Morales in Bolivia's main cities fell to 68 percent in July, after six months as president.

In June support for Morales in La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra had been at 75 percent. Morales began his five-year term on Jan. 22 with a 74 percent approval rating, and reached a peak support of 81 percent in May, after nationalizing the country's oil and gas industry.

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