SKorea threatens to close K-League over fixing

The South Korean government will shut down the K-League if more

teams are involved in any new match-fixing scandals.

Vice Sports Minister Park Sun-kyoo issued the warning in a

meeting with football league officials on Thursday, his ministry

said in a statement on Friday.

Park and senior football officials agreed to close down the

28-year-old league if several teams are linked with any new

match-fixing scandals from Friday, the ministry said.

Park also threatened to expel a club from the K-League if its

players are found to have received kickbacks in return for

attempting to rig results.

Last month, South Korean prosecutors indicted 10 K-League

players in the scandal. A former K-League midfielder, who allegedly

worked as a broker, was found dead in an apparent suicide in late

May.

Also on Friday, the Korea Football Association said in a

statement that it has decided to permanently ban the 10 indicted

players from all types of football-related posts, including

coaching and refereeing, in South Korea.

The K-League authorities already imposed a lifetime ban on the

players, eight from Daejeon Citizen, last month.

The highest-profile player implicated in the scandal is Suwon

Samsung Bluewings’ Choi Sung-kuk, a striker who has played in 26

internationals. This week, he acknowledged attending a meeting

between players and gambling brokers last year, though he said he

didn’t take part in a plot to rig the outcome of two games.

Military prosecutors have also arrested Kim Dong-hyun of

military club Sangju Sangmu, who had six appearances for the

national team, over the scandal.