SANTIAGO: Jorge Sampaoli has ended speculation about his future by finally resigning as coach of Chile a mere six months after their first Copa America triumph.
Sampaoli had fallen out with the new president of the federation, Arturo Salah, but the saga had rumbled on because he could not afford, personally, to buy out his contract.
According to a statement on the ANFP website, Sampaoli has forgone bonus money due for the Copa América win.
Last month, he was linked with the Brazil club Flamengo, after a presidential candidate claimed he had received assurances from Sampaoli that he would coach the club if his presidential bid were successful.
“With this step the board of the ANFP has achieved the goal of resolving the current situation affecting the national team, avoiding uncertainty involving potential lengthy court actions,” the statement said.
Salah, who was elected after Sergio Jadue quit amid a corruption investigation in November, said the board was already looking for a replacement.
“Now we will dedicate ourselves to this priority, to do everything possible to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018.”
Manchester City’s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini has reportedly ruled himself out of contention.
“I hope to remain with competitive teams in Europe. I am not thinking about returning to Chile at least for the next three or four years,” Pellegrini said in comments attributed to him by Radio Cooperativa.
“There is no chance I would coach over the next couple of years. Arturo has my full support for all that is needed. But being in charge of the national team is not something I would like to do at this time.”