Chile footballer Vidal held by police after car crash

Santiago, June 17 (IANS) Chile footballer Arturo Vidal, who is the top scorer in the ongoing Copa America, was detained by the Chilean police after wrecking his car while allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

The Juventus star insisted he was not responsible for the accident on Tuesday, but the player was kept overnight with police ahead of a court hearing.

Vidal was not badly hurt in the accident, while his wife Maria Teresa Matus is also not seriously injured. But his expensive Ferrari car has been ruined.

The director of Buin hospital, where the pair were taken after the smash on a motorway south of the city, said that the midfielder had a slight bruise on his neck and Maria’s elbow was damaged, reports on Wednesday.

Chile’s fitness coach Jorge Deseo visited the hospital to check on the footballer, who is set to appear in San Bernardo court on Wednesday, where he will likely be released on bail.

Before news broke that he was being detained by police, Vidal tweeted on Tuesday, “Regrettably I was involved in a traffic accident. Luckily we are all well and calm. Thanks for the concern.”

Police colonel Ricardo Gonzalez spoke on Chilean television to confirm that Vidal was being kept overnight in the 15th Precinct of Buin.

Vidal’s sports car was ruined by the collision, which involved three vehicles according to a police report.

“The driver of the red vehicle was under the influence of alcohol,” Gonzalez said, referring to Vidal.

The 28-year-old and his wife were said to be returning from a casino south of Santiago when the incident occurred.

Vidal is the top scorer in the ongoing tournament with three goals. Chile play their third and final group game against Bolivia here on Friday.

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