Skip to main content

Lifetime soccer bans for Korean players involved in match-fixing scandal

updated 12:14 PM EST, Wed January 9, 2013
FIFA has imposed worldwide lifetime bans on 41 Korean players on charges of match-fixing
FIFA has imposed worldwide lifetime bans on 41 Korean players on charges of match-fixing
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA imposes a worldwide lifetime ban from football on 41 players from Korean Republic
  • Soccer's governing body extends domestic ban imposed by Korea Football Association
  • FIFA offer 21 players who handed themselves in a chance of returning to football
  • Recent match-fixing incidents have occurred in Italy and South Africa

(CNN) -- FIFA has imposed a worldwide lifetime ban from football on 41 players from Korea who became embroiled in match-fixing activities in their domestic league.

In another episode that underlines the fight soccer faces to rid the sport of corruption, the game's governing body extended a ban handed down by the Korea Football Association (KFA) in 2011.

Of those 41 players, FIFA have offered 21 who handed themselves in voluntarily a chance to return to the sport after a probationary period of between two and five years.

The charges relate to match-fixing in Korea's domestic K-League competition and in all but one case were centered on offering or accepting bribes to throw matches.

Read: Players' union to launch match-fixing hotline

These latest sanctions add to a further 10 worldwide bans imposed on players from Korea in June last year.

Ex-soccer star discusses betting scam
Eaton talks match fixing in January
The Secret Footballer says in the early days of in-play betting players used to make money by manipulating elements of the match such as who would win the first throw in. The Secret Footballer says in the early days of in-play betting players used to make money by manipulating elements of the match such as who would win the first throw in.
In-play betting
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
Match-fixing in football Match-fixing in football
Former Southampton defender Claus Lundekvam has claimed there was widespread spot-fixing in the English Premier League. Lundekvam told a Norwegian television channel he and fellow players would bet on minor details of games, such as when the first throw-in would be taken.
Former Southampton defender Claus Lundekvam has claimed there was widespread spot-fixing in the English Premier League. Lundekvam told a Norwegian television channel he and fellow players would bet on minor details of games, such as when the first throw-in would be taken.
Lundekvam speaks out
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
Footballers speak out on addiction Footballers speak out on addiction
Juventus fans hold up three stars to signify the 30 championships won by the club, but two in 2005 and 2006 have been struck off the official records after the "Calciopoli" match-fixing scandal. Juventus fans hold up three stars to signify the 30 championships won by the club, but two in 2005 and 2006 have been struck off the official records after the "Calciopoli" match-fixing scandal.
Controversial celebrations
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Juventus revived under president Agnelli Juventus revived under president Agnelli

A FIFA spokesman told CNN: "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."

Soccer has been grappling with cases of match-fixing in recent years with Italian prosecutors conducting a wide-ranging investigation into some of Serie A's most high-profile clubs.

Napoli were hit with a two-point penalty that dropped them from third to fifth in Serie A as part of the ongoing probe, though they vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Their defender Paolo Cannavaro is appealing his six-month ban for failing to report an illegal approach.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte recently returned from a 10-match touchline ban imposed for failing to report match-fixing while coach at Siena.

In 2006, Juve were stripped of two league titles and relegated to the third division of Italian football -- before later being reinstated in the second tier -- for their part in the "Calciopoli" scandal.

Read: Napoli hit by match-fixing related points deduction

Elsewhere, the president of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and four other officials were suspended in December as part of an investigation into match-fixing ahead of the country hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Of the 51 (total) cases, only one was for betting, whereas all the others were either for giving, or accepting bribes to fix matches
FIFA spokesman

It is alleged four friendly games were prearranged for the benefit of convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Perumal and his Football 4U organization.

In response to this threat on soccer's integrity FIFPro, the worldwide players' union, recently announced a project to tackle fixing that will include an education program and an online tool for their members to report illegal approaches.

FIFPro have European Union funding behind their 'Don't Fix It' scheme and will be working closely with Birkbeck University and European soccer's governing body UEFA.

The initiative will be launched in nine countries: England, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Romania, Scotland and Slovenia.

The 21 Korean players who handed themselves in voluntarily will also be required to put themselves forward for community service if they decide they want to return to the game.

A statement on FIFA's website explained: "These services include the provision of coaching classes for local football clubs for youth and adult players; involvement in and support of football for those with disabilities; and the support of ongoing and future domestic anti-match-fixing activities.

"Players who are subject to voluntary probation may produce monthly reports on their respective community service activities, accompanied by documentary evidence of their activity (written, photographic or video).

"The reinstatement of the respective player in football after the probation period will only be decided by the Korea Football Association (KFA)."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT