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(LEAD) S. Korean football league to mete out punishment on club over bribery scandal

All News 22:05 September 28, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES 7th para; ADDS comments in paras 8-9)

SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) -- The national pro football league said Wednesday it will mete out a punishment on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors over a bribery scandal this week.

The K League said its disciplinary committee will have a meeting Friday to confirm the penalties for Jeonbuk.

Earlier Wednesday the Busan District Court sentenced a Jeonbuk scout, identified only by his surname Cha, to six months in prison, suspended for two years, for bribery. Cha had been indicted on charges of bribing two referees in 2013.

Jeonbuk could face point deductions or relegation to the second division, or even expulsion from the league. The K League office previously slapped Gyeongnam FC with a 10-point deduction and a 70 million won (US$ 63,850) fine for the 2016 season after their club officials were convicted of bribery.

Jeonbuk is currently atop the league standings with 68 points after having an unbeaten run of 18 wins and 14 draws. They are 14 points ahead of No. 2 FC Seoul, which have 16 wins, six draws and 10 losses with six matches remaining.

Jeonbuk are one of the premier clubs in South Korean pro football. They have won the first-tier K League Classic title four times, including three of the past five seasons, and triumphed at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League in 2006.

Jeonbuk are also one step closer to reaching the AFC Champions League final this year after beating FC Seoul 4-1 in their first semifinal leg Wednesday.

Jeonbuk head coach Choi Kang-hee said he will accept the disciplinary committee's ruling on Friday.

"It's an issue where we have to follow the disciplinary committee's decision," he said. "I can make further comments after we see the results."


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