Seoul. South Korean prosecutors said Thursday they have charged 12 people including 10 players with involvement in match–fixing that has rattled the K–League.
The players are accused of receiving money from brokers trying to fix results of two games in April, said a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office in the southeastern city of Changwon.
Eight of them are from the Daejeon Citizen team. One team member is accused of receiving 120 million won ($110,600) and distributing it to seven others, the spokesman said.
The Daejeon players were asked to throw a match against the Pohang Steelers on April 6, which Daejeon ended up losing 0–3.
“Defenders did not take the ball from strikers from the opposing team even when they could, and just pretended to be trying,” Yonhap news agency quoted Kwak Kyoo–Hong, a chief prosecutor in the case, as saying.
“(Daejeon) strikers did not play aggressively and intentionally kicked the ball to miss the goal.”
Another player, from Gwangju FC, was charged with receiving 100 million won from a broker who tried to rig a match with Busan I’Park in April.
But prosecutors said it was not clear whether the money was handed over to other team members or whether the result was in fact rigged.
A Pohang Steelers player was also charged. He did not play on April 6 but is accused of betting on the result following tips from other players.
He was sacked from the team last week after allegedly confessing that he had been aware of the fixing scheme.
Two individuals accused of providing cash to bribe players were also charged.
The prosecutors in Changwon had earlier charged two brokers.
Yonhap, citing prosecutor Kwak, said officials would investigate three other K–League football games in the last half of 2010 that may have been rigged.
Last week some 1,100 players, coaches, referees and officials signed a rare pledge to root out match–fixing and other illegal activities.
Sports minister Park Sun–Kyoo vowed to strengthen penalties for match–fixing in all sports. In addition to fines and possible jail terms, players would face a lifetime ban and their clubs would lose points.