Korean Basketball League Coach Under Investigation In Match-Fixing Probe
South Korean prosecutors said on Tuesday they were "investigating a professional basketball coach for alleged match-fixing, following similar scandals in domestic football and volleyball leagues," according to the BANGKOK POST. A spokesperson from the prosecutors' office said, "The investigation is underway." The coach, whose name was not revealed, allegedly received some 30M won ($27,500) from a gambler about two years ago and "rigged games by substituting key players." The gambler was "recently arrested, reports said, citing the city prosecutors" (BANGKOK POST, 3/5). In Seoul, Kim Tong-hyung reported "a fresh match-fixing scandal has kicked dirt in the face of Korean professional sports." There was a ubiquitous sense of ''here we go again" as prosecutors confirmed they have arrested a fixer and "plan to soon summon" a Korean Basketball League head coach over the possible manipulation of games. All four of Korea’s major professional sports leagues -- baseball, football, basketball and volleyball -- "have been rocked by game rigging in recent years." A KBL spokesperson said, ''This is a case that is currently under investigation, so it’s inappropriate for us to talk about the details. Commissioner Han Sun-kyo is watching the situation closely. We will call in team officials to hear their side of the story and get to the bottom of this" (KOREA TIMES, 3/5).
INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED: YONHAP reported the KBL said "it has launched its own investigation into allegations that an active head coach was involved in a match-fixing scheme." The league said that it will "ask the coach’s team to verify facts surrounding the fixing allegations." If the allegations are proven true, the coach "would become the first active head coach of a South Korean professional team to be directly involved in fixing schemes." The KBL said that if the head coach admits to his illegal activities, it will "immediately open discussions for punishments" (YONHAP, 3/5). In Seoul, Lee Ah-ran reported a professional basketball coach has "denied allegations" of illegal match-fixing. In an interview with Yonhap News, the coach "only identified as K," said that he "hadn’t been approached to illegally rig matches, and had not received money to do fix games" (KOREA HERALD, 3/5).