National
Match rigging scandal hits Korean soccer
Published : May 25, 2011 - 19:57
Updated : May 25, 2011 - 19:57
A prosecution investigation is underway into a match rigging case in which brokers bribed some professional soccer players to deliberately lose games, local daily Munhwa Ilbo reported Wednesday.

The two brokers, including a former midfielder from a local soccer club, made significant profits from a sports lottery by arranging game scores, the report said.

According to Changwon Prosecutor’s Office, at least two soccer players received cash from them during the 2011 Rush and Cash Cup, which kicked off in March 16 and will run through July 13.

A goalkeeper, who allegedly received 100 million won ($91,000), induced his team to score 11 losing points in four games he played and his team lost all four games except one. A midfielder, who pocketed 120 million won, played in one game which the team lost.

They were relatively low-paid players on the second string, a prosecution official was quoted as saying by the daily.

The prosecution said the brokers earned “a huge sum of money” from the match fixing, but it did not specify the amount, the report said.

“Because it’s just an early phase of the investigation, we have not yet confirmed all the details of the case. No one has been summoned thus far,” the official said.

There has been speculation that match rigging is prevalent in the professional K-League, with some soccer players participating in the online lottery betting illegally.

Before this year’s season opening, the K-League required all its players and club employees to sign a pledge in which they will pay a fine of 50 million won and be expelled from the league if found to be involved in any fraud.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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