Top Stories

Arturo Vidal to remain with Chile for Copa America despite alleged drunk-driving incident




Despite allegedly committing a major off-the-field offense late Tuesday night, Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal’s Copa America looks set to go on as planned.

Following a late-night accident that saw Vidal charged with drunk driving, the midfielder had his driver’s license revoked in court on Wednesday. In addition, the Juventus star will also be required to appear at the the Chilean consulate in Milan on a monthly basis to provide a signature.

Vidal’s incident will not effect his status with the Chilean national team, however, as head coach Jorge Sampaoli said Wednesday that the midfielder will not be excluded from the squad.

“We shouldn’t exclude someone just because they made a mistake,” Sampaoli said.

“The ruling tried to account for the fact that for us, he is a very valuable player for us,” Sampaoli said. “He made a mistake that was not grounds for exclusion and we wanted to convince them with regard for what the national team needs.”

Vidal crashed his Ferrari while driving with his wife on the outskirts of Santiago on Tuesday night. Vidal “was under the influence of alcohol,” according to police colonel Ricardo Gonzalez.

Vidal has provided three goals, two from the penalty spot, through two games to help the Copa America hosts move into first place of Group A with four points and a better goal differential.

Chile returns to action on Friday against Bolivia in the nations’ third and final group stage match-up.


What do you think of Vidal’s punishment? Should he be allowed to feature for Chile going forward?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Luis Suarez was thrown out of the World Cup for biting someone. Is that worse than drunk driving and crashing while putting other lives at risk? If not, why is Vidal still in the tournament?

    Chile should be ashamed for their lack of action.

  2. Absolutely BS. Just because you’re an athlete you should not get away with something like Drinking and driving. What if he would have killed someone? Such a shame he’s getting away with nothing but a fine.

  3. Can you IMAGINE the backlash the USSF would get if this played out in the Gold Cup with someone like Bradley?????

    I can’t imagine it’s the same thought process for the Chilean federation. Although I’m COMPLETELY speculating, I can see many involved saying, “Phew! Vidal is alive, he can play.”

    • I’m sure of one thing, ripping up the ref’s notebook is going to get Clint a longer suspension than what Vidal will get.

      I guess risking Vidal and his wife’s life is not as terrible as ripping up a ref’s notebook…

  4. The judicial process takes awhile.

    It’s not like you get arrested for drunk driving and they lock you up and throw away the key… his court date probably isn’t even until after the tournament is over.

    This makes total sense.

    • Legally yes, but ethically Chile would have had to suspend him from the National Team or at the very least remove him from the Tournament.

  5. What an disgrace. Chile is so desperate to win this tournament that they’ll forgive Vidal almost anything. Any other country would have sent a player home in disgrace if they’d done the same.

      • Two days after the incident you’re referring to, Hope Solo was suspended for 30 days. And she wasn’t even behind the wheel, which is an important distinction both in the eyes of the law and for the Federation in making the judgment. If Chile had announced today that Vidal was suspended for 30 days I would have no problem with the response.

        So no, I’m not calling the USWNT and the USSF a disgrace. I’m not happy with the way they handled the situation, but it’s world’s better than Chile.

  6. “Despite allegedly committing a major off-the-field offense late Tuesday night, Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal’s Copa America looks set to go on as planned.”
    Why wouldn’t he stay with the team? It’s not like he stole the team van and went on a drunkenly beer run with his wife. The would’ve been serious.

    • In addition, should he assault multiple family members in a drunken stupor followed by threatening local law enforcement officials, no reason he can’t still play.


Leave a Comment