South Korea stamping-out match-fixing with life-bans and criminal charges

A former South Korea goal-keeper has now admitted involvement in K-League match-fixing. According to Ahn Gi-Heaon, the league's Secretary General, the player, now with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, admitted he engaged in match-fixing schemes last season when he was playing for Chunnam Dragons. “The goal-keeper first informed his Jeonbuk head coach Choi Kang-Hee ... After speaking with Lee Chul-Geun, general manager of Jeonbuk, we decided to hand the case over to prosecutors,” Ahn said as quoted by AFP.

Last week the K-League announced life time bans on 10 players in the wake of the ongoing match-fixing probe. "We made the decision, determined that this would be the first and the last match-fixing scandal in the league," said Kwak Young-Cheol, head of its disciplinary committee. "We asked the players to attend the committee meeting to determine punishment to give them a chance to explain, none of them attended," he added.

The league imposed life bans on 10 out of 11 players who have been charged by state prosecutors, with the 11th receiving a five-year ban. Eight of them are from the Daejeon Citizen team, with one player accused of receiving $110,600 and also sharing it with seven team mates. The scandal has also been linked to a player found dead last month in a hotel room. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported a suicide note had been discovered referring to the match-fixing ring.