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Over 100 fans banned from K League matches over bottle-throwing incident

May 23, 2024 - 19:07 By Yonhap
Players from Incheon United and FC Seoul try to stop fans from throwing water bottles onto the field after their K League 1 match at Incheon Football Stadium in Incheon, just west of Seoul, in this file photo taken May 11, 2024. (Yonhap)

The South Korean football club Incheon United announced Thursday they have banned 124 fans from attending their home matches after throwing water bottles onto the field after a recent loss.

Incheon said the 124 fans had reported themselves to the team and acknowledged their involvement in the incident in the aftermath of Incheon's 2-1 loss to FC Seoul at Incheon Football Stadium in Incheon, just west of the capital city, on May 11. They will be banned from coming to Incheon's home matches indefinitely, but they will be reinstated if they perform 100 hours of community service.

Fans who choose to do community service will be asked to volunteer at Incheon's home matches, helping stadium staff with security checks and cleaning before, during and after matches.

Back on May 11, FC Seoul captain Ki Sung-yueng was struck by a bottle as players from both clubs tried in vain to get angry fans to stop. The Korea Professional Football League later slapped Incheon with a fine of 20 million won (US$14,660) and ordered the team to close off their supporters section for five home matches.

Incheon had accepted emails from fans who wanted to admit to their wrongdoing from May 13 to last Sunday. The club said those 124 fans will raise money to pay off the league-issued fine, while team CEO Jeon Dal-soo will cover any outstanding amount out of his own pocket.

Additionally, Incheon United plan to press charges against fans who are caught after the self-reporting deadline and will seek compensation for financial losses that the club will suffer due to their actions.

FC Seoul goalkeeper Baek Jong-bum was fined 7 million won by the league for inciting the crowd with an excessive celebration of his team's victory. FC Seoul supporters had raised money to pay the fine for the goalkeeper, arguing that Baek didn't deserve the punishment.

FC Seoul contemplated appealing the decision last week but decided against it Thursday. The team also said they will spend the fan-raised money on a charitable cause. (Yonhap)