Chile’s FA head Sergio Jadue stepped down from his post on Wednesday and abruptly left the country to go to the United States to turn into a “protected witness” in connection with the alleged bribery probe within FIFA.
Jadue, the head of the Chilean National Football Association (ANFP) and the vice president of South American regional body Conmebol flew to the United States on Tuesday with his family.
Escorted by police at Santiago airport, Jadue told reporters that he was going on a vacation for a few months to rest and spend some time with his family.
However, according to reports published in El Mercurio, Jadue is going to be a “protected witness” of the US courts as the authorities probe into the corruption scandal that has rocked the world football governing body.
Collaborating ANFP sources, another newspaper La Tercera reported that Jadue was going to “collaborate with the investigation being carried out by the FBI.”
Jadue’s interim replacement Jaime Baeza said that Jadue resigned over his failure to give satisfactory answers to the association’s board of directors when being summoned to an “urgent and extraordinary meeting” last Thursday over his alleged role in the bribery scandal.
“Since Mr. Jadue did not respond or clear up the concerns put to him, he was asked to step aside for the good of the Chilean football industry,” Baeza said.
Jadue took sick leave after the meeting but said that he would not resign from his post.
He however, left on Tuesday night while the Chilean national team was in Uruguay playing a World Cup qualifier.
South American officials are suspected and being investigated for corruption into their alleged roles in awarding television rights for the Copa America tournament.
The bribery scandal has also engulfed FIFA’s boss Sepp Blatter who has been suspended for 90 days along with UEFA president Michel Platini.
Jadue and other ANFP officials are also facing investigation in Chile for alleged illegal salary payments to members of the association.