Video: Bolivian Prez Evo Morales Knees Opponent In The Junk During Soccer Match

Good idea: Bolivian President Evo Morales celebrating a new soccer pitch in La Paz by playing in a friendly match between his ruling party and a team led by the capital's mayor and his opposition party.

Bad idea: Evo Morales ruining the spirit by kneeing an opposing player right in the balls after a hard foul -- and then nearly having him arrested after the game. Video after the jump!

The game started out spirited, as you can see in the video, with Morale's team of Movement Toward Socialism lackeys, clad in green, posing for photos with the squad led by La Paz Mayor Luis Revilla, decked out in yellow.

The BBC reports that Morales -- wearing the playmaker's No. 10 -- took a hard foul from an opposing player, Daniel Gustavo Cartagena. Then Morales whips around and slams his knee into Cartagena's balls.

Speaking to the BBC, the president was unapologetic. "I passed the ball, and suddenly I got hit, and not for the first time," he said.

Cartagena and one of Morales' bodyguards were sent off after the scuffle, but the prez avoided a red card. He later scored, helping secure a 4-4 tie.

Then, on the way out, the police tried to arrest Cartagena -- only letting it drop when Revilla, the mayor, insisted that he be let free. "This was a football match, and on the pitch we are all players. It was just a clash," he said.

The video:

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink