South Korean football player Jang Hyun-soo has been slapped with a life-time ban from the national team for doctoring his community service records.
The Korea Football Association's sports fair play committee, formerly the discipline committee, ruled on Thursday that Jang will be permanently barred from representing South Korea and will be fined 30 million won ($26,340) for his misconduct.
The decision automatically rules Jang out of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup next year. The continental tournament will be held from Jan. 5 to Feb. 1 in the United Arab Emirates.
The KFA rule states that a player who is determined to have committed social misconduct is banned from national team selection, while those who damage the dignity of the national team could face penalties ranging from a warning to a lifetime ban.
The KFA had already announced Jang would not be selected for South Korea's friendly matches in November, a decision that was made after Jang requested to sit out to allow him time to complete his community service.
Jang recently admitted his wrongdoing after Rep. Ha Tae-kyung of the Bareunmirae Party accused the defender of doctoring his community service records during a parliamentary audit meeting on the Military Manpower Administration.
Able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve in the military for about two years. But Jang is exempt from serving the full mandatory service after he earned a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games. By law, all Olympic medal winners and Asian Games gold medalists are entitled to exemption in recognition of their contribution to the country's reputation and prestige.
But those who earn the exemption need to complete basic military training, which can take up to 60 days, as well as 544 hours of sports-related community service over 34 months. The law on community service was designated in July 2015.
According to Ha, Jang submitted a document stating that he had completed 196 hours of community service in December 2017. But it turned out that the outdoor activities Jang claimed to have completed were impossible on the specified dates due to heavy snow.
In addition, photos that Jang submitted for proof of community service on various dates were actually all taken on one day, the lawmaker claimed.
Under the conscription law, those who falsify community service records receive a warning and a five-day extension to their original service period. The sports ministry is expected to mete out such a punishment against the footballer regardless of the KFA ruling.
Jang has been a core player for South Korea, representing the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He also featured in all four matches under new head coach Bento. The versatile defender has three goals in 58 caps. (Yonhap)