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Goalkeeper turns himself in for match fixing involvement

All Headlines 08:41 June 27, 2011

SEOUL, June 27 (Yonhap) -- A former national team goalkeeper has turned himself in to the nation's top football league for his involvement in match fixing, the league office confirmed Sunday.

The goalkeeper, currently with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, admitted that he was engaged in match fixing schemes last season, when he was playing for a different club, Chunnam Dragons, said Ahn Gi-heon, secretary general of K-League.

"The goalkeeper first informed his Jeonbuk head coach Choi Kang-hee last Friday night," Ahn said. "After speaking with Lee Chul-geun, general manager of Jeonbuk, we decided to hand the case over to prosecutors."

The goalkeeper, whose name was withheld, briefly served as a backup for the national team in 2008. He is the first known case to report himself to K-League for match fixing ties. The league declined to confirm whether there are other such players.

Players have until the end of this month to turn themselves in for lenient penalties from the league. K-League has said it would also ask prosecutors to reduce punishment for such players.

Prosecutors in Changwon, about 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, have indicted 10 active K-Leaguers for allegedly throwing matches in April, while one other player was indicted by the military prosecution. Ten of those 11 have received a lifetime ban from the K-League.

Players were accused of accepting money from gambling brokers in exchange for deliberately making mistakes and helping their teams lose.

Five other players have been arrested in Changwon in the snowballing match fixing scandal, the first of its kind to rattle K-League in its 28-year history.

The league said one of those five is a former teammate of the goalkeeper's on the Dragons last year. A league official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the arrest likely forced the netminder to come clean.

"We had suspected the goalkeeper of a possible role in match fixing from last season, but he had denied his charges until now," the official said.


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