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By ESPN Staff

Bolivia stars lift strike threat for Brazil clash

Bolivia's players lifted a strike on Friday that had put their participation in this month's World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Peru in doubt.

The players' union Fabol announced on September 15 that Bolivia's internationals were boycotting the national team indefinitely to demand reforms in the domestic game.

"After meeting all afternoon with the Health and Sports minister (Ramiro Tapia), we lifted the measure," Fabol spokesman David Paniagua said. "All the points in the (players') demands have been addressed."

One of the players' chief complaints was that the game in Bolivia is run by three separate bodies. They demanded that there should be a single authority."This very night the national team will gather and tomorrow (Saturday) they will begin training," Paniagua said.

Tapia had earlier suggested Bolivia should field a youth team in the matches after coach Erwin Sanchez's 22-man squad failed to report for the first practice on Thursday.

The qualifiers at home to Brazil on October 11 and away to Peru three days later are dead rubbers. Brazil have already qualified and Peru have also been eliminated.

Bolivia have won only three of their 16 qualifiers and not taken full advantage of their home games in La Paz, 3,600 metres above sea level where the rarefied air handicaps visiting teams.

They followed a promising, if surprising 6-1 rout of Argentina in La Paz with an upset 1-0 defeat by Venezuela in their next home match.


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