Life ban for South Korea footballer for deception

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Jang Hyun-soo was banned for life from playing for South Korea by the Korea Football Association on Thursday after being found guilty of exaggerating his community service records.

The 27-year-old Jang has been a regular international since his debut in 2013 — appearing at the 2018 World Cup — but the KFA’s sports fair play committee ruled the defender will not be able to add to his 58 appearances after his deception.

Jang won a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games, earning an exemption from the usual 21-month military service for all able-bodied South Korean males.

But even exempted players must perform basic military training, which can run up to 60 days, and also have to record 544 hours of community service over a period of almost three years.

Jang was found guilty of claiming he performed outdoor community services in December 2017 and submitted photographs to support his assertion. An investigation, however, found there were no activities on the days Jang claimed, due to heavy snow.

Jang, who plays for FC Tokyo in Japan, admitted his deception and was also fined about $26,000.

He said last week: “I am ashamed to have disappointed everyone. I will faithfully perform volunteer work in November.”