A second-division football club CEO is facing discipline after charging into a referees' locker room following a loss over the weekend.
According to the K League, the operator of domestic professional football competitions, Kim Ho, CEO of Daejeon Citizen in the second-tier K League 2, entered the referees' room to complain about officiating during Daejeon's 2-1 loss to Asan Mugunghwa FC on Saturday. The match took place at Daejeon World Cup Stadium in Daejeon, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul.
League officials said the refs' locker room is off-limits to all club officials, and Kim, a former national team head coach, forced his way into the area while using profanity.
In this file photo from Dec. 1, 2017, Kim Ho (L), CEO of Daejeon Citizen football club, shakes hands with Ko Jong-soo, the team`s new head coach, during Ko`s inauguration ceremony at Daejeon World Cup Stadium in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)
"We need to verify facts further, but we've received a verbal report that Kim used foul language to voice his displeasure," one league official said.
Kim singled out the play that led to Heo Beom-san's go-ahead goal for Asan in the 82nd minute. Asan midfielder Jo Seong-joon managed to send a cross to Heo after nearly getting tangled up with Daejeon's Kim Ye-sung on the right side of the box. Kim, who appeared to have been pushed, tumbled to the ground, and that gave Jo enough space to set up Heo's header.
Referees reviewed the play, but no foul was called.
"We don't think there was anything wrong with that particular decision," the K League official said. "And regardless of officiating in that game, Kim Ho's action is subject to discipline.
We'll soon decide whether to formally open disciplinary proceedings."
Kim said he simply asked to watch the video of the disputed play again, but the match official refused to play it. Kim said he then grabbed an alternative referee and entered the referees' locker room to demand an explanation.
"I think there were issues with officiating throughout the match, but that's nothing new," Kim said. "I think video reviewing is in place to ensure fairness, but it hasn't been the case. If the disciplinary hearing is held, then I'll state my position."
Kim, 73, has been Daejeon's CEO since November last year. He coached South Korea at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. (Yonhap)