SANTIAGO - Chile 2010 World Cup coach
Marcelo Bielsa resigned on Friday, citing differences with the
country's football association and apologising for the 'soap
opera' that surrounded his continuity in the role.
"I want to say that I have decided to resign from my post as
trainer of the Chilean national team. On Thursday I made the
decision I'm communicating to you and today I resign," Bielsa
told a packed news conference at the ANFP's Juan Pinto Duran
training complex, his home since his appointment in 2007.
"The reason I've decided to resign is because of the manner
in which (ANFP president Sergio Jadue) has acted from when he
"He did everything necessary for me to resign," added
Bielsa, who steered Chile to the second round of the 2010 finals
in South Africa.
The announcement ended three months of uncertainty over the
55-year-old Argentine's future, but came only two days after
Jadue said he would stay.
His departure leaves Chile five months to appoint a coach
for the Copa America in Argentina in July. They are in Group C
with Uruguay, Peru and Mexico.
Chilean media said the main candidates were both Argentine,
former Argentina coach Nestor Pekerman and Claudio Borghi, who
has strong ties with Chile having made his name as a coach with
leading club Colo Colo.
Bielsa, nicknamed 'Loco' (crazy), signed a new contract in
August until 2015, but called a news conference the day before
an ANFP presidential election in November to say he could not
work under candidate Jorge Segovia who was heavily favoured to
Segovia's victory the next day ended the tenure of Harold
Mayne-Nicholls, the man who had appointed Bielsa and helped the
coach drive Chile's remarkable progress in three years.
However, the Spain-born Segovia's win was declared null and
void days later due to a clash between his personal business
interests and his position as chairman and owner of first
division club Union Espanola.
Jadue, a member of the same opposition group as Segovia, won
a second election last month and said he would try to persuade
Bielsa to stay on.
The opposition was led by Chile's three big clubs, Colo
Colo, Universidad de Chile and Universidad Catolica, who felt
they were not getting a big enough share of the cake with the
ANFP under Mayne-Nicholls who put his weight behind the national
Bielsa had said he would announce a decision as to his
future at the end of January, but his delay prompted Jadue to
announce on Wednesday that the Argentine would remain at the
"I regret the TV soap opera and the ennui... but I don't
feel responsible for this," said Bielsa.
"I think, and I hope I'm wrong, that in time Chilean
football will not forgive the present authorities at Colo Colo,
Universidad Catolica and Universidad de Chile the consequences
of this scenario they have created, the more so taking into
account their motives," Bielsa said.
"I want to thank those who allowed me to work in this
country's football, the players and my closest associates," said
Bielsa, who became immensely popular in Chile even in
"To lovers of football and, if I may be allowed, Chileans in
general, I want to say to them: 'thank you very much'."
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
"Get on the weights," says expert
It's all about the legacy, says Sepp
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010