SEOUL - South Korean football bosses are
hoping to use the embarrassment of a match-fixing scandal as an
opportunity to reform their professional K-League.
The government has threatened to shut down the 16-club
league after 46 players were arrested earlier this month in
relation to attempts to fix 15 matches from June to October last
Prosecutors have charged several former players with
match-fixing, while 10 active players have been slapped with
life bans. A coach was also arrested for attempting to blackmail
a player over his part in the scandal.
"The K-League is now suffering scandals, but we are trying
tirelessly to overcome the problems. Everyone may perceive many
changes are necessary," K-League general secretary An Gi Heon
told the Asian Football Confederation website.
"In this regard, the scandal can be an opportunity for us.
As you know, the K-League board members have been changed, that
means the decision making right has been moved to the club
sides. We would like to listen more to the clubs and respect the
The league has cancelled its annual All Star match this
weekend because of the scandal and replaced it with a charity
clinic where top players will train mentally handicapped
juniors, Yonhap news reported.
The worst scandal to hit the K-League in its 28 years of
existence comes with Asian football in crisis after AFC President
Mohammed Bin Hammam was banned for life for bribery by the
sport's governing body FIFA last weekend.
Bin Hammam has denied the charges and said he will appeal.
Acting AFC President Zhang Jilong has vowed to crack down on
betting-related match-fixing in South Korea and his native China
as well as elsewhere on the continent.
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