Santiago - Chile's top football official Sergio Jadue has gone into witness protection in the United States to cooperate with a probe into alleged bribery within FIFA, Chilean media reported Wednesday.
Jadue, head of the Chilean National Football Association (ANFP) and a vice-president of South American regional bloc Conmebol, traveled to the United States on Tuesday night with his family.
Surrounded by police at Santiago Airport he left, a visibly shaken Jadue told reporters he was going on holiday for a few months to rest and spend time with his family.
But the newspaper El Mercurio cited sources in the football association saying he was going to be a "protected witness" of the US courts as authorities probe a corruption scandal that has struck world football's governing body.
Another newspaper, La Tercera, also citing sources in the association Jadue heads, said he was going to "collaborate with the investigation being carried out by the FBI".
Jadue took sick leave last week but said he would not step down from his post despite being linked to bribery investigations.
He left on Tuesday night while the Chilean national team was in Uruguay playing a World Cup qualifier.
South American officials are suspected of corruption in deals to award television rights for the Copa America tournament.
The sprawling scandal has engulfed FIFA's president Sepp Blatter, who has been suspended.
Jadue and other ANFP officials also face an investigation in Chile into alleged illegal salary payments to members of the association.