41 South Korean players have been handed worldwide lifetime bans following a match-fixing scandal in the country’s K-League, FIFA said on Wednesday.
The 41, charged after a domestic match-fixing investigation dating back to 2011, received lifetime bans from all football activity by the K-League and the Korea Football Association’s disciplinary committee with FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee extended the sanctions to have worldwide effect.
A FIFA spokesman told gave a statement :
“The K-League first issued the sanctions, which were then extended by the KFA in summer of 2011 to have national scope, and then subsequently FIFA extended them to have worldwide effect.
“FIFA announced 10 sanctions in June 2012 having received the case files from the KFA, and a further 41 Tuesday. There could still be further cases to follow, but we’re not in a position at the moment to make any guess on numbers.
“Of the 51 cases, only one was for betting, whereas all the others were either for giving, or accepting bribes to fix matches.
“Of these 51 cases, 15 went to an appeal and an additional three persons (two players and one coach) committed suicide during the course of the investigations.
“Some of the 51 people involved have also been the subject of criminal proceedings in Korea, including jail sentences.”
South Korean sport has been marred by match-fixing allegations in professional football, volleyball and baseball, forcing the government to declare war on the issue.
In February football officials scrapped the K-League Cup competition as part of sweeping changes brought in to avoid a repeat of last year’s match-fixing scandal.