Worldwide life bans given to 41 S.Korean players

BERNE Wed Jan 9, 2013 7:16pm IST

BERNE (Reuters) - Forty-one players from South Korea's K-League have had their lifetime bans extended worldwide following a match-fixing scandal, although 21 of them have been offered a reprieve, FIFA said on Wednesday.

The 41 had already been banned for life by the Korea Football Association following the scandal which erupted in 2011 and involved matches played the previous year. The scandal led the South Korean government to threaten to wind up the K-League if action was not taken.

Ten other players involved in match-fixing were given worldwide bans by FIFA in June while in March, South Korea's volleyball association banned 11 players for life in a bid to curb corruption in domestic sport.

FIFA said that a reprieve had been offered to 21 players who turned themselves in during the voluntary reporting period and expressed "grave regret" about their involvement in match-fixing.

The players would have to undergo a probation period of between two and five years, including periods of community service ranging from 200 to 500 hours.

"The probation is voluntary, which means that the respective player has to inform the K-League that he wishes to return to football," said FIFA.

"At this point, the player then has to commit himself to one of a variety of community services related to football.

"These services include the provision of coaching classes for local football clubs for youth and adult players, involvement in and support of football for those with disabilities, and the support of ongoing and future domestic anti-match-fixing activities.

"The reinstatement of the respective player in football after the probation period will only be decided by the Korea Football Association (KFA)."

Match-fixing is regarded as one of the biggest problems facing football with recent scandals also hitting Italian and Turkish domestic soccer as well as the national teams of Guatemala, Nicaragua and South Africa.

Guatemala last year gave lifetime bans to three regular internationals and one Nicaraguan was banned for life by his federation. Those bans have also been extended worldwide by FIFA.

Last month, a FIFA report sent to the South Africa Football Association alleged that the results of South Africa's pre-World Cup warm-up matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala leading up the 2010 finals were fixed and implicated the nation's officials.

On Sunday, SAFA reinstated its president and four other leading officials suspended over the scandal, saying they were improperly removed from office.

FIFA say that match-fixing is usually organised by illegal gambling rings who win money by betting on the results of matches they are manipulating with the help of players, officials or referees. (Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Australian Open

Reuters Showcase

RK Laxman Dead

RK Laxman Dead

'Common Man' cartoonist RK Laxman dead at 93  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

India’s Male Tenor

India’s Male Tenor

India’s lone male tenor wants to ‘Indianise’ opera  Full Article 

Facebook Outage

Facebook Outage

Hacker group claims it is behind outages at Facebook, other sites  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

`Life-threatening' blizzard shuts down much of U.S. Northeast  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Berdych ends Nadal tyranny on day of shocks  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

Photo

Auschwitz Anniversary

Last survivors recall Auschwitz, ask if lessons learned  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage