Two days after becoming the leading scorer at the Copa America, Chile’s Arturo Vidal appeared in court under suspicion of driving while intoxicated following a crash in his Ferrari.
Vidal, a midfielder with Italian champion Juventus, scored his second and third goals of the 12-nation tournament in Monday’s 3-3 tie with Mexico, a result that makes progress to the second round likely for the home team. Chile has never won the 99-year-old competition, soccer’s oldest regional national team tournament.
“The driver of the red vehicle was under the influence of alcohol,” Chile’s national police chief Colonel Ricardo Gonzalez said on television. Local media reports said Vidal visited a casino with his wife before getting involved in a two-car accident that destroyed the front left portion of his sports car.
Vidal was told by a judge to give up his license and appear once a month at Chile’s consulate in Milan while a police investigation takes place. That will probably last 120 days, authorities said.
He received minor treatment at the San Luis de Buin hospital south of Santiago before television images captured him leaving in the back seat of a police car. He was held overnight and appeared in front of a local judge Wednesday wearing a black jacket with silver studs.
Shortly after leaving court, Vidal was in tears as he apologized at a news briefing.
“Yesterday I went to the casino and had some drinks,” he said. “I put at risk my life and that of my wife, and I also put at risk the lives of many other people.
‘‘I messed up with everyone and I will try to give the maximum. This opportunity being given to me is for a reason.’’
Vidal, alongside Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, is leading Chile’s charge at the competition. The host country’s next game is Friday with surprise Group A co-leader Bolivia. Both teams have four points after two games.
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said Vidal would remain on the squad.
‘‘Arturo committed a mistake but it is not enough to remove him from the team,” he said.