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S. Korean football champs docked 9 pts over bribery scandal

All News 17:28 September 30, 2016

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean football champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have been deducted nine points in their current campaign after their scout was convicted for bribery.

The K League, the operator of the pro football league, said on Friday its disciplinary committee has decided to impose the penalty on Jeonbuk for the 2016 season. The two-time defending champions also have to pay a 100 million won (US$90,700) fine.

The decision was announced two days after the Busan District Court sentenced a Jeonbuk scout, identified only by his surname Cha, to a six-month suspended jail term. Local prosecutors indicted him in May on charges of bribing two referees in 2013.

Jeonbuk are currently the leaders in the top-tier K League Classic with an undefeated record of 18 wins and 14 draws, 14 points ahead of FC Seoul with 68. Teams are awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.

With the penalty, Jeonbuk now have 59 points, just five up on FC Seoul (16 wins, six draws and 10 losses) with six matches remaining.

The K League previously slapped Gyeongnam FC with a 10-point deduction and a 70 million won fine for the 2016 season after their club executives were also convicted of bribery last year. Under league rules, Jeonbuk could have faced relegation to the second division, or even expulsion from the league.

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.

Members of the K League disciplinary committee review documents before meting out punishment on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors over a bribery scandal at the Korea Football Association headquarters in Seoul on Sept. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)


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