Football star totals Ferrari in DUI crash
Chile's star midfielder Arturo Vidal was banned from driving for four months by a Chilean judge on Wednesday 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, which is among the favorites in on-going Copa America, the South American championship.
"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."
Chile football star Arturo Vidal was driving this Ferrari after drinking and crashing on the outskirts of Santiago. Picture/AP
Vidal, known as "King Arthur" in Chile, appeared in court on Wednesday 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.
Arturo Vidal wipes a tear as he speaks to the press on the day he appeared in court for driving under the influence of alcohol in Santiago, Chile, this week.Picture/AP
"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.
A photo of the accident showed heavy damage to the left-front of the Ferrari, and the airbags apparently deployed.
The Juventus midfielder has had discipline problems in the past.
Former Chile national team coach Claudio Borghi banned Vidal and four other players for 20 games after they showed up at training in "an inappropriate state." The ban was eventually reduced to 10 games.
Chile faces Bolivia on Friday in a Group A match in Copa America.