Bolivian President plays soccer in South Georgia

By Ashton Pellom –

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) –A soccer match after school on a Monday in Americus isn’t out of the ordinary, but having two presidents on the field is .

Monday evening at Americus-Sumter High, Former President Jimmy Carter had the honorary first kick as Bolivian President Evo Morales laced up his cleats to take on the Panthers soccer team.

President Morales spent the Day with President Carter and he wanted to use the sport of soccer as a way of bringing the two countries together to build a healthy relationship.

“What he does is tries to go around and use athletics as a way to ease tension between countries. Right now there’s a little bit of a dispute between Washington and La Paz in Bolivia and he would very much like to see that Americans understand that Bolivians good people and friendly,” said President Carter.

President Carter says he and Morales have been friends for a while and the two share a common bond.

Both were farmers who made it to the top of the political food chains in their respective countries.

The former US President admires Morales’ strides to make Bolivia a more equal country.

“He has brought the very poor people of Bolivia into an area of fairness, so he’s boosted them up a great deal as far as equality goes,” said President Carter.

“This is Probably the most memorable high school year they’ll ever have or have to this point. It’s pretty awesome,” said Americus-Sumter Head Soccer Coach Greg Fowler.

Coach Fowler says his team waited anxiously to meet and play with the president. They know how much of an honor it is to play with a world leader.

“It’s great. I’m happy for my soccer team. I think it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m really happy that they’re out here to enjoy it,” said Fowler.

It’s an experience these high schoolers will never forget and hopefully its message will not be forgotten either.

President Carter went on to say he and President Morales are working on projects to make voting in Bolivia fair and equal along with helping out some of the poorest citizens in that country.

After the match, Morales signed autographs and took pictures with the team.

It was a one-sided victory for the president and his staffers who won 14 to 2. President Morales scored two goals.

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