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Chile's Vidal admits to drunk-driving, asks for forgiveness

Updated: 2015-06-18 10:05

Chile's Vidal admits to drunk-driving, asks for forgiveness

Chile's national team player Arturo Vidal cries as he delivers a news conference at their headquarters at Santiago city, June 17, 2015. Vidal, top scorer at the Copa America, was arrested on drink-driving charges after crashing his car and being taken to hospital with a neck injury, police said on Wednesday. Vidal has been transferred to a court in Santiago, according to local media. [Photo/Agencies]

SANTIAGO - Choking back tears, midfielder Arturo Vidal made a public apology on Wednesday for crashing his Ferrari while driving drunk and expressed his gratitude for being allowed to stay on Chile's Copa America squad.

Vidal was charged with driving under the influence after crashing some 18 miles (30 km) south of Santiago on Tuesday night, with his wife in the passenger seat, following an afternoon off from training that he spent at a casino.

"I had two drinks and had an accident, as everyone knows, and put the life of my wife and other people at risk. And for that I'm really sorry," Vidal told reporters, his voice cracking.

"I'm really embarrassed and all I can do is ask for forgiveness ... and show on the field that this opportunity I've been given is worth something," said Vidal.

The accident put Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli in a tricky position, but he ultimately decided to keep Vidal on Chile's active roster.

"He made a mistake that isn't such a determining factor as to exclude him," Sampaoli told a news conference at Chile's training camp in Santiago. "What we need is to include him."

Vidal is expected to start Chile's final Group A match against Bolivia on Friday.

His teammates also offered their support. Writing on Twitter, Inter Milan midfielder Gary Medel said: "I love you a lot and I'm with you now more than ever. We're a team and we'll come out of this together."

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