Coach Sampaoli rules out leaving Chile football team

Santiago, Jan 14 (IANS) Chile football coach Argentine Jorge Sampaoli has denied rumours he is willing to leave, adding to the confusion surrounding his future at the helm of the South American country’s national team.

“I have been here (Chile) for seven years. My life remains linked to Chile. I am thinking about staying in Santiago,” said Sampaoli during a news conference at the National Association of Professional Football of Chile (ANFP) here on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

Sampaoli, who led Chile to victory in the Copa America 2015, had expressed a desire to emigrate after details of his multi-million dollar contract were leaked.

He described this as a “disorder in leadership” which occurred after the president of the ANFP, Sergio Jadue, controversially resigned in November 2015 due to his involvement in the 2015 FIFA corruption case.

“My contract was leaked which violated confidentiality. The leaked information made me look like someone who evaded taxes,” said Sampaoli.

“It was speculated I had accounts in tax havens. Officials cleared this up. They (the newspapers who leaked the contract details) tried to hurt me and indirectly hurt the country because of the position I hold today,” he added.

Recently, through various statements given to the local media, the coach has mentioned his desire to leave. He has also harshly criticised the leaders of the ANFP for their desire to make him respect the exit clause of around $6 million dollars.

Despite everything, Sampaoli said on Wednesday “it isn’t true that I don’t want to live and work in Chile any more.”

“I am not an idol but part of a successful process,” concluded the coach without accepting questions from the media.

These statements have left Chileans even more uncertain about their national team’s future as they get closer to the World Cup Russia 2018 qualifiers.

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