Chung suspected of rigging match
A former professional football player on the list of suspects in a recent match-rigging scandal was found dead in a Seoul hotel Monday.
According to police, Chung Jung-kwan, a former midfielder for Jeonbuk Hyundai in the K-League, hanged himself from the ceiling of a Gangnam Princess Hotel room.
He left a four-page note in which he said: “I feel ashamed to be a part of the match-rigging,” police said.
“The players under the prosecution investigation are all my friends. It is because of loyalty to me that they did not name me as a match-fixer. I am responsible for everything and I made them fix matches,” the note said.
Police have not yet found any trace of infiltration, and are treating his death as a suicide.
Chung, 30, played for the team based in North Jeolla Province until the 2007 season, and afterwards was relegated to Seoul United in the lesser Challengers League before his death.
On Sunday, Changwon District Prosecutors arrested three players of Daejeon Citizen for alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal.
The three suspects are believed to have received bribe money to help fix the result of the league cup game against Pohang Steelers in April, which Daejeon lost 3-0.
Two other players, a midfielder from Daejeon and the other Gwangju FC goalkeeper, are already in custody in the probe that began earlier this month.
The goalie is suspected of receiving 100 million won, while the midfielder is suspected of receiving 1.2 million won from two gambling brokers, who allegedly made large sums of money by betting on the game through lotteries operated by Sports Toto. The two brokers, one of whom is identified as a former player, were arrested last week. The investigators also questioned Kim Dong-hyun, a former national team player, for alleged involvement with the brokers.
Although there have been a few small pre-arranged incidents in other divisions, this is the first time that such a scandal has come to light in the country’s top professional league.
“If we cannot root out match-fixing this time, it will happen again soon. I think this is our opportunity to reform the K-league,” said league president Chung Mong-gyu.
By Robert Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org