November 18, 2015 / 1:26 PM / 2 years ago

Chile football chief heads to U.S. as FBI informant - media

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The president of Chile’s ANFP national football association Sergio Jadue has gone to the United States to talk to the FBI as part of its ongoing probe into corruption at soccer governing body FIFA, local media reported on Wednesday.

President of Chile's Football Federation Sergio Jadue speaks after receiving a distinction for the America Cup the draw of the 2015 Copa Sudamericana tournament at the CONMEBOL headquarters in Luque, on the outskirts of Asuncion July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

Local police had served Jadue a subpoena on Friday as part of what the ANFP said was an investigation into how it allocates salaries, hours after he announced he would take a 30-day leave for medical reasons.

“The trip is confirmed. He traveled to Miami last night,” an ANFP spokesman told Reuters, without providing details about why Jadue traveled.

“He has a special permission for a 30-day medical leave and he continues to be the ANFP’s president.”

The spokesman added that the organization would make an official statement later on Wednesday. Local media had earlier reported that Jadue had resigned from his role at the head of the ANFP.

Under the flashes of cameras and with police escorts, Jadue boarded a flight in Santiago late on Tuesday night, headed for New York via Miami, said newspaper La Tercera earlier on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the Chilean police force declined to comment.

South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL and the sport’s world governing body FIFA are reeling from a corruption scandal. Several leading directors were indicted in May in a probe led by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation into allegations of bribery, money-laundering and wire fraud.

A majority of the 14 FIFA officials and sports marketing executives indicted by the FBI were from South America.

Local newspapers La Tercera and El Mercurio quoted unnamed ANFP officials as saying that Jadue was planning to collaborate with the FBI investigation.

“It’s not a holiday,” El Mercurio cited one official as saying. “He is due back May 10 next year. Jadue is traveling as a protected informant of U.S. justice.”

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andrew Hay

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