Copa America 2015: Chileans unimpressed by Arturo Vidal crash

Publish Date : 2021-03-31

Copa America 2015: Chileans unimpressed by Arturo Vidal crash

The overwhelming reaction on social media to Vidal following his drink-driving car crash on Tuesday -- bar a few vocal supporters outside court during his trial -- has been one of condemnation.

Many asked just why is it that so many footballers appear to enjoy special dispensation whatever they do.

Despite being the Copa America's top scorer and so far almost single-handedly dragging Chile to the top of its group, few Chileans have backed coach Jorge Sampaoli's decision not to exclude him from the squad.

One tweeted: 'Vidal... with your salary of $8 millions a year. You couldn't spend $50 on a taxi? I love you... but for f***'s sake.'

Journalist Manuel de Tezanos added: 'No double standards. Seeing how our politicians ask for forgiveness, I applaud Vidal. But that doesn't change what I would have done: taken him out.'

TV and radio journalist Claudio Bustios tweeted: 'We can think what we like. In favor or against. Nothing matters. The players will continue doing what they please.'

The Chilean media was equally unsympathetic, leading with headlines such as 'The broken Cup' and 'The dream crashed.'

By the look of the photographs, Vidal had a very lucky escape after he was involved in the crash Tuesday.

One side of Vidal's red shining Ferrari has almost been completely ripped away.

Multiple media reports quote the Chilean National Police, and prosecutors, as saying that the football star had been under the influence of alcohol, and was at fault for the crash.

After a court hearing Wednesday, a judge ruled the 28-year-old Vidal will have his license withheld and will need to report monthly to the Chilean consulate in Milan, while the investigation into the crash will go on for 120 days, the Chilean judicial system confirmed.

In a YouTube video posted on his Twitter account, the Chile midfielder, who plays for Italian club Juventus, confirmed he had been involved in a collision and said nobody had been injured and that it, 'wasn't his fault.'

Vidal added, 'I'm fine, my family is fine. Thank you for everything.'

But that's unlikely to be end of the matter.

The Chile national police was not immediately available for comment when CNN contacted them, but Police reportedly say he was impaired.

The Hospital San Luis de Buin confirmed to CNN that Vidal had been there but would not disclose the nature of his injuries.

'The driver of the red vehicle was under the influence of alcohol,' the Chilean national police chief Colonel Ricardo Gonzalez was quoted as telling a number of media.

News website La Tercera reported Vidal's wife suffered a dislocated elbow in the collision, which involved three vehicles.

Radio BioBio said Vidal's vehicle was a few meters from dropping into the Los Guindos path, which is a drop of 10 meters, and that his car's airbags had been activated.

Prosecutor Luis Pablo Cortes was quoted as telling news website Emol that Vidal was the protagonist of the crash and that a driver from one of the cars involved had been let free, but will be called to testify as a witness. CNN tried unsuccessfully to reach him.

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He said Vidal was detained for driving in a 'drunk state,' which under Chilean law is a more serious offense that being 'under the influence' of alcohol.

After playing for Juventus in the European Champions League final on June 6, Vidal returned to Chile, which is hosting the Copa America -- Latin America's leading international football tournament.

He is the tournament's top scorer with three goals from two games, guiding Chile to a win and a draw.

Given his importance to the Chile team, Vidal's involvement in the crash, has brought some withering criticism from local media pundits.

'[Vidal] f***ed over his teammates, coach, shirt &, most seriously, those who dream of the Copa,' tweeted De Tezanos. 'There's 17m of us.'

'It's very serious to let this happen right in the middle of the Copa América,' José Sulantay, a former coach of Chile's Under-20 team who worked with Vidal, told CNN Chile.

'This kind of stuff doesn't happen [when they're playing] in Europe. I don't understand coach Jorge Sampaoli and I don't understand Vidal.'

However, in a media conference Wednesday, Sampaoli said he had no intention of excluding Vidal from Chile's squad.

'It doesn't seem right to me to exclude someone just for making a mistake,' said the Chile coach.

The crash reportedly took place in Buin, around 40km south of Santiago and Vidal was taken to the San Luis de Buin hospital for treatment.

Chile has a 'zero tolerance' approach to drink driving, meaning there is no maximum limit for alcohol.

Vidal could face three years in jail, and a driving ban. It's believed to be his first offense.

He is more likely to receive a driving ban of two years, as there were no serious injuries and it's his first offense.

The Copa America host faces Bolivia in its final group stage game on Friday.

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Category :transfer

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