Argentina coach Sampaoli sorry for insulting traffic cop

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 filer, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli speaks to the media after his team's training session ahead of their friendly soccer match against Russia, in Moscow. Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has apologized for insulting a traffic officer who stopped him at a checkpoint. Sampaoli says in a statement on Tuesday, Dec. 26 he’s sorry for belittling the officer over his pay grade. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has apologized for insulting a traffic officer who stopped him at a checkpoint.

Sampaoli belittled the officer over his pay grade, and said he was sorry in a statement on Tuesday.

A witness videoed the incident on Sunday and posted it on social media.

”I totally regret what happened,” Sampaoli said. ”Anger, coming from a discussion in which I was wrong, made me say words that do not represent in any way my convictions or my beliefs.”

The coach was stopped after attending his daughter’s wedding near Casilda, a city 360 kilometers (220 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires.

Sampaoli said he will apologize personally to the officer he insulted.

The video shows Sampaoli yelling out of the car, accompanied by the traffic officer.

”You are making me walk two blocks, idiot. You make 100 pesos ($5.50) a month,” the coach said.

Seven other people were with him in the car, which made the officer stop the vehicle.

Casilda security secretary Federico Censi, who oversees the traffic division, told a local radio Sampaoli called him to apologize for his behavior.

In the statement, Sampaoli said, ”Salaries do not represent the qualities or the value of any human being. I ask forgiveness to our society for this bad example.”