Chile coach Sampaoli staying on, likely not much longer

Published 01/14/2016, 4:14 AM EST
Chile’s head coach Jorge Sampaoli listens a question during a news conference before their 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Brazil on Thursday, in Santiago, in this file photo dated October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli, who led the national team to their first major trophy at last year’s Copa America, wants to keep working in the country but said that may not be for much longer as he feels a lack of respect.

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Sampaoli said on Wednesday his image was damaged and he has been unable to concentrate on his job after his contract details were disclosed by local media and amid speculation that he was putting his money in tax havens in order to avoid paying taxes.

Some reports said Sampaoli has been pressuring the president of Chile’s national football association for an early exit from his contract, which ends in 2018.

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“It is not true that I don’t want to live or work in Chile, I want to clear up the misunderstanding … I plan on continuing to live in Santiago,” Argentine Sampaoli told reporters. “Let’s not tarnish the recognition that we now have in the world.”

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But when asked in a follow-up interview with Fox Sports if he was staying on as coach of the national team, Sampaoli said: “the truth is that today everything is pointing towards a no … I’m not in a position now to stay in place where I don’t feel as respected as I was before.”

“I could quit now but I don’t want to sneak out the back door …I hope this gets resolved in the coming hours.”

With Sampaoli at the helm, Chile won the much-prized Copa America title in July for the first time in the tournament’s 99-year history in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

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Chile are currently fifth in South America’s 10-team standings for the for World Cup qualifiers with the top four automatically qualifying for Russia 2018 and the fifth-placed side going into a playoff against a team from Oceania.

(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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