bolivia news

Bolivian coach quits over fielding 12-year-old son

July 24, 2009

Julio Cesar Baldivieso, the father of South America's youngest ever first division soccer player, has quit as team coach after the management of the Aurora club told him to leave the boy out of the squad.

Former Bolivia midfielder Baldivieso also withdrew his son Mauricio, who made his debut for the 2008 Clausura champions on Sunday as a 12-year-old, from the club.

Baldivieso's decision to send Mauricio on as a substitute for the last nine minutes of the 1-0 defeat at La Paz has caused a furore in Bolivia with many saying there should be a minimum age limit for boys in professional football.

The outspoken coach told reporters he and his son, who turned 13 on Wednesday, had become victims of jealousy and pressure by Aurora directors, local media reported on Friday.

"Sadly, a lot of people didn't like my son's debut. I'm not going to be told whether I play someone from my family or not," Baldivieso was quoted as saying.

"The country and the world need to know that in Bolivia talented youngsters get their legs cut off, to make room for foreign players, no doubt, or because of personal grudges," he added.

The daily La Razon said: "Baldivieso was told to choose between his son and the Aurra coaching job -- he opted to be a father".

The 37-year-old Baldivieso, who featured for Bolivia at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, played for Cochabamba-based Aurora before becoming their coach last year and steering them to the league title.