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FIFA suspends Choi Sung-kuk for worldwide matches

The world football governing body has suspended South Korea‘s Choi Sung-kuk for matches around the world, South Korean football officials said Friday.

Last year, Choi, a former national team forward, was given a life ban from any football-related activity in South Korea for his involvement in a match-rigging scandal in 2010.

Choi is “suspended worldwide for the duration of the suspension imposed” by South Korea’s Football Association, FIFA said last week, according to an official of the Korea Professional Football League.

FIFA said the decision was aimed at extending a sanction to have worldwide effect, according to officials of South Korea‘s Football Association and Korea Professional Footbal League.

An official of South Korea’s Football Association said there is no possibility that the body will lift the suspension on Choi.

The officials said they received FIFA‘s decision earlier this week. They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the policy.

Choi was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, Choi was sentenced to a 10-month prison term, suspended for two years, for his role in manipulating game results in two matches in 2010. The sentence means he does not have to serve a term in jail as long as he stays out of trouble.

Last year, the K-League, South Korea’s first-division football league, was rocked by a match-fixing controversy. Dozens of active and former players were indicted and found guilty.

FIFA‘s move came as South Korean prosecutors have indicted 27 professional baseball and volleyball players, gamblers and gambling brokers on charges of rigging matches in search of gambling dividends.

South Korea has recently announced it will take a “zero-tolerance” approach to match fixing and toughened penalties for offending parties. (Yonhap News)