Argentina coach Sampaoli apologises after Christmas police fracas

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The Albiceleste boss has been criticised for a late-night scuffle with the authorities while returning from his daughter's wedding in his hometown

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has issued an apology after being caught on camera insulting and arguing with a police officer. 

Sampaoli found himself in the eye of the storm when a video circulated of him being stopped by the authorities in a routine traffic check in the early hours of December 24. 

The ex-Sevilla man was returning from his daughter's wedding in his hometown Casilda, Santa Fe province when he was pulled over, and quickly became enraged at the situation. 

"You earn 100 pesos (roughly £4) a month, idiot," he yelled at the officer, while onlookers later had to restrain him as the argument continued. 

Sampaoli has since apologised for his actions, stating that he had called the policeman to personally express his sorrow.

"I feel total regret for what happened on the morning of December 24, leaving my daughter's wedding in Casilda", he wrote in a statement published on the Argentine FA's official website

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"My anger, in an argument in which I was in the wrong, made me say words that do not represent my convictions or beliefs. 

"I understand that traffic controls in Argentina are very important for the safety of us all. Our respect for them can save lives." 

Sampaoli took over the Argentina job from Edgardo Bauza in June, and sealed the Albiceleste's qualification for the World Cup in a dramatic finale against Ecuador thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick.

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