‘We were robbed’ Bolivia leader says after Copa loss to Chile

La Paz (AFP) – President Evo Morales complained bitterly Saturday that Bolivia was “robbed” one day after a controversial loss to Chile at football’s Copa America Centenario tournament.

“Congratulations to our football team, excellent battle,” the Bolivian leader wrote on Twitter.

“Unfortunately we were robbed” during the penalty kick to break a one-one tie, Morales tweeted following the controversial match.

Morales, an avid fan and weekend football warrior, is recovering at a hospital in the central city of Cochabamba following knee surgery for an injury sustained last week during a match he played in.

During Friday’s Copa match in the United States, Chile’s Arturo Vidal scored a controversial penalty deep into injury time, allowing Chile snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory over Bolivia. 

The goal came in the 10th minute of additional time after a hugely debatable penalty awarded against Bolivian defender Luis Gutierrez for a handball. Bolivia’s players angrily protested the penalty, to no avail.

The South American neighbors have had testy relations since Chile defeated Bolivia and its ally Peru in an 1879-1883 war, depriving Bolivia of a coastline.

In the latest controversy both nations claim access to the Silala river on their shared border. 

The water rights quarrel escalated to the point that both sides asked the International Court of Justice to settle the issue.

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