The Chilean Football Association (ANFP) has confirmed the resignation of president Sergio Jadue amid local media reports that he has travelled to assist US authorities in their investigation into the corruption scandal surrounding world football’s governing body Fifa.
The ANFP yesterday (Wednesday) said Jadue has officially resigned from his post after refusing to answer questions over his possible links to the scandal. Jadue had told reporters at Santiago’s airport on Tuesday night that he was taking a holiday with his family, before boarding a plane to Miami.
Chilean newspapers La Tercera and El Mercurio quoted unnamed ANFP officials as saying that Jadue was planning to collaborate with the FBI investigation, but the former president declined to comment on whether he would be helping US authorities with their probe into corruption in world football.
Reports of his impending resignation first emerged last week after Jadue returned from an unexpected trip to Brazil and dismissed speculation that he had travelled to cooperate with US authorities. That day, “the board of directors of Chile's federation asked Jadue to meet us urgently to clear up the questions surrounding the investigation by the US prosecutors,” acting ANFP president Jaime Baeza said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Baeza added: “Since he didn't give us an answer or cleared up questions, he was asked to step aside for the good of the industry and Chilean football.”
However, Baeza said Jadue refused to resign and instead asked for a 30-day medical leave. Members of Chile’s investigations police later visited ANFP headquarters to notify Jadue and other officials that they were wanted for questioning as part of a local probe.
After the Fifa scandal first broke in May, Jadue maintained his innocence, despite the fact he was not formally charged in the US Justice Department indictments. Without naming them, the indictments said most presidents of the 10 South American national federations would receive $1.5m (€1.36m) in bribes from the Datisa agency in exchange for each upcoming edition of the Copa America national team tournament.
Jadue’s departure follows the recent resignation of the Colombian Football Federation (FCF) president, Luis Bedoya. Both men have served as vice-presidents of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), but were not among the executives named in the US Department of Justice investigation. However, Colombian prosecutors are investigating financial transactions by Bedoya and have requested information from US authorities.