Pellegrini rules himself out for Chile coach’s race

Santiago, Jan 21 (IANS) Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini ruled out being an option to replace resigned Jorge Sampaoli as Chile’s national football coach.

“It would be ideal to end my career coaching the national team but I hope it isn’t the next four years. Between Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 could be the right time,” Pellegrini said on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

Sampaoli, from Argentina, put an end to his successful time with the Chilean team on Tuesday after coming to an early exit agreement with high-ranking executives from the country’s football federation. Sampaoli led the team to their first ever international victory when Chile won the 2015 Copa America.

“It is regrettable that things didn’t work out for him with the team. He deserved to have continued the process until 2018,” said the former Real Madrid and Villarreal coach.

Sampaoli announced his desire to leave the South American country after details of his million dollar contract was leaked. He blamed this on disordered leadership after the former Football Federation of Chile (ANFP) president Sergio Jadue controversially resigned in November 2015 for his involvement in the FIFA corruption scandal.

At the beginning, the ANFP asked Sampaoli for $6.3 million to get out of his contract. However, the coach immediately rejected this figure. Despite this, local media suggested that prizes received for winning the Copa America and reduced compensation paved the way to an agreement that was finalised on Tuesday.

Regarding the allegations against Jadue, the former River Plate and San Lorenzo coach said that a thorough investigation into the ANFP needs to be carried out.

“I believe that if things have been done wrong then everything has to be investigated so that every one knows the responsibility they had. With Arturo Salah (new president of the ANFP) there will be reliability,” said Chilean Pellegrini.

“His first obligation is to get to the bottom of what has been happening recently, and those who are guilty should pay for the damage they caused while the innocent should hold their heads up high with their clean names.”

The ANFP are currently focused on finding Sampaoli’s replacement and the other name that seems to have been mentioned a lot is the national team’s former coach, Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa.

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