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General manager of reigning Asian football champs to resign over competition ban

All Headlines 15:25 February 04, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- The general manager of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors has tendered his resignation over the club's ban from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, a source close to the matter told Yonhap News Agency Saturday.

The source said Lee Chul-geun will step down from his post over the club's disqualification from the AFC Champions League (ACL) due to a bribery scandal. Jeonbuk won the 2016 ACL.

The Entry Control Body, a judicial body independent of the AFC, last month barred Jeonbuk from the 2017 ACL for their "indirect involvement in activities aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of matches," following the club's bribe scandal.

Last September, one of Jeonbuk's scouts was convicted of bribing referees in 2013. They were docked nine points by the K League's disciplinary committee -- which cost them a chance to win their third straight domestic league title -- and were fined 100 million won (US$85,680).

Jeonbuk then challenged the ECB's decision and took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, the world's top sports tribunal on Friday rejected Jeonbuk's appeal.

Jeonbuk are the defending champions of Asia's top club competition. They beat Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates in November to claim their first ACL title in 10 years and earned their spot in the 2017 ACL by finishing second in the K League Classic.

"Lee already thought about resignation before the CAS ruling," the source said. "He took his responsibility for the bribery scandal and the club's ban from the AFC Champions League."

Lee first joined the club in 2003 as secretary-general and was promoted to general manager two years later. Lee and head coach Choi Kang-hee have produced four domestic league titles and two ACL crowns.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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