Former Bolivia soccer boss travels to Brazil to treat cancer

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) Carlos Chavez, the former head of Bolivia’s Football Federation, has been granted permission to temporarily leave prison and travel to Brazil to seek treatment against cancer, officials said Friday.

Chavez was jailed in 2015 at Bolivia’s notorious Palmasola Prison in the eastern city of Santa Cruz on charges he diverted funds from a charity match among other corruption charges.

Authorities said that the 59-year-old was flown in an ambulance plane Thursday night to a hospital in Sao Paulo, where he will undergo chemotherapy and other treatments to combat groin cancer until Jan. 26.

Chavez was checked into a clinic in Santa Cruz a month ago, and had been undergoing intensive therapy in recent weeks.

The permission to travel abroad to seek treatment was granted by a local court after a medical report confirmed that he suffered from cancer.

The trial against Chavez in Bolivia will enter a debate phase this year and authorities say he will be present.

Chavez was also linked to a bribe scheme during a soccer corruption trial against FIFA bosses held in the United States.

Chavez is also a former treasurer of South America’s soccer governing body, CONMEBOL.