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  • Former FARC rebels from the Alfonso Cano Block play soccer in los Robles, in the mountains of the province of El Cauca. FILE

    Former FARC rebels from the Alfonso Cano Block play soccer in los Robles, in the mountains of the province of El Cauca. FILE | Photo: EFE

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The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have disarmed under a peace deal after a half-century conflict and are transitioning to civil and political life.

Demobilized fighters from Colombia's leftist FARC rebels want to form a professional league soccer club, officials said Friday.

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"We received – about 10 days ago – an official message... from the FARC, who want to talk with the Colombian soccer authorities about taking part in the professional game," Jorge Perdomo, president of Colombian soccer's organizing body, Dimayor, said on Blu Radio.

He said the FARC had asked if it could enter the men's second division and the women's leagues.

Perdomo cautioned that it "is not simple" for them to enter the leagues, which requires the approval of two-thirds of the Colombian Soccer Federation's assembly.

One of the FARC's leaders, Pastor Alape, told a news conference the procedure would cost "more or less US$10 million, and we do not have that... We have always been dreamers, but it looks difficult."

Alape added that the group only has one viable stadium, in the southern jungle region of Caqueta.

Interior Minister Guillermo Rivera said Dimayor could formally examine the FARC's demand after UN monitors finish removing the force's surrendered weapons from their demobilization zones next week.

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