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Disqualified Asian club football champs acquire Brazilian forward

All Headlines 17:17 February 09, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- Disqualified Asian club football champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors said Thursday they've acquired Brazilian forward Marcelino Junior Lopes Arruda to boost their offense.

Jeonbuk, the winners of the 2016 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, said the 27-year-old footballer, better known as Mazola, will play in the K League Classic for the upcoming season.

Jeonbuk said Mazola knows Asian players well because he previously played with the Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan and Hangzhou Greentown of China. Last year, the speedy attacker scored 14 goals in 28 matches for the second division Chinese club Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng and helped their promotion to the Chinese Super League.

The acquisition of Mazola completes the foreign player signings for the four-time South Korean league champions. In the K League, teams are allowed to have three foreigners, in addition to one player from an AFC member country, which is also known as the Asian quota.

Mazola will join fellow Brazilian forwards Eduardo Goncalves de Oliveira, Ricardo Lopes, and Eder Luiz Lima Da Sousa, who holds dual citizenship in Brazil and Palestine, at Jeonbuk.

Jeonbuk earned their spot for the 2017 AFC Champions League (ACL) by finishing second in the domestic league last year. The two-time ACL champions, however, won't be allowed to defend their continental title this year after the Entry Control Body (ECB), a judicial body independent of the AFC, banned them for their "indirect involvement in activities aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of matches," following a 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$87,220).

In this photo provided by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Feb. 9, 2017, Brazilian forward Marcelino Junior Lopes Arruda, better known as Mazola, holds Jeonbuk's jersey at the club's office in Wanju, North Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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