SANTIAGO - Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli, who led the national team to their first major trophy at last year's Copa America, wants to keep working in the country but said that may not be for much longer as he feels a lack of respect.
Sampaoli said on Wednesday (Jan 13) that his image was damaged and he has been unable to concentrate on his job, after his contract details were disclosed by local media and amid speculation that he was putting his money in tax havens in order to avoid paying taxes.
Some reports said Sampaoli has been pressuring the president of Chile's national football association for an early exit from his contract, which ends in 2018.
"It is not true that I don't want to live or work in Chile, I want to clear up the misunderstanding. I plan on continuing to live in Santiago," the Argentinian told reporters. "Let's not tarnish the recognition that we now have in the world."
But when asked in a follow-up interview with Fox Sports if he was staying on as coach of the national team, Sampaoli said: "The truth is that today everything is pointing towards a 'no'.
"I'm not in a position now to stay in place where I don't feel as respected as I was before. I could quit now but I don't want to sneak out the back door... I hope this gets resolved in the coming hours."
With Sampaoli at the helm, Chile won the much-prized Copa America title in July last year for the first time in the tournament's 99-year history in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
Chile are currently fifth in South America's 10-team standings for the for World Cup qualifiers with the top four automatically qualifying for Russia 2018 and the fifth-placed side going into a play-off against a team from Oceania.