Chile star midfielder Arturo Vidal has been banned from driving for four months by a Chilean judge yesterday after he crashed his Ferrari while driving under the influence of alcohol.
Despite the judge’s ruling, Chile national team coach Jorge Sampaoli said Vidal can continue to play for the Chile, who are among the favorites to win the Copa America.
“I don’t like to remove or exclude someone for making a mistake,” Sampaoli told a news conference. He said he couldn’t control what players did in “their rest time.”
Vidal, known as “King Arthur” in Chile, appeared in court yesterday after being held overnight in a local jail. He suffered minor injuries in the crash, as did his wife, who was a passenger.
Later he offered a teary apology.
“I want say I’m sorry to my teammates, to the coaching staff, to the people — to the entire country,” Vidal said. “I want to say I’m sorry, too, to the other people involved in an accident that was my fault.”
The court said Vidal showed 1.21 grams of alcohol in his blood per liter. Any level above 0.8 can be punished by up to three year in prison.
Vidal scored twice on Monday in Chile’s 3-3 draw with Mexico and is the leading scorer in the tournament with three goals.