South Korean government warns: Stop match-fixing or we'll close the K-League

The South Korean government appears to be running out of patience with the growing football match-fixing controvery and is threatening to shut down the country's professional competition, the K-League.

Last week K-League administrators pro-actively banned 10 players for life for fixing matches, prior to  the courts dealing with them on criminal charges.

Earlier, South Korean sports were warned that if they were found to be penetrated by match fixers  they would no longer receive proceeds from Sports Toto, the country's sole legal sports betting agency. Bookies will also face tougher punishment for illegal activities.

"If K-League players are caught trying to throw matches from this July, their teams will be forced out of the league," Park Sun-kyoo, Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism has since told South Korea's Yonhap news agency. "We will also consider shutting down the K-League in the worst-case scenario."

South Korea international Choi Sung-kuk's confession on Wednesday that he had also been involved in fixing results was the latest blow "in the worst crisis the league has faced since it was established in 1983".

"The problem isn't simply with players and it has spread over to the rest of professional football and football as a whole," Vice Minister Park said adding, "teams must also act responsibly."

Players were given until the end of June to come forward under a K-League amnesty in return for more lenient penalties, but Park said this has been extended until 7 July.