Football

Asian champions Jeonbuk face ban

Asian title-holders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors could be banned from next year's AFC Champions League over a match-fixing scandal after a new eligibility body was unveiled yesterday.

Jeonbuk, who lifted the Asian trophy last month, two months after they were punished for match-fixing in South Korea's K-League, face a possible one-year ban by the five-member panel.

The Asian Football Confederation said the independent Entry Control Body, led by China's Liu Chi, will make decisions based on a new document setting out rules for eligibility.

Any clubs involved in "arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level" will be barred from the Asian competition for one season, the document said.

"The AFC has zero tolerance towards match manipulation and has done more than many other bodies to tackle that threat to sport," AFC general secretary Windsor John said in a statement.

"We are also determined to protect the sporting integrity of our competitions which are now regarded as some of the best in the world."

In September, K-League leaders Jeonbuk were docked nine points and fined 100 million won (S$120,000) after one of their scouts was convicted of bribing referees during the 2013 season.

As a result, Jeonbuk narrowly missed out on the Korean title. But they beat UAE's Al Ain 3-2 on aggregate in the Champions League final to lift Asia's most prestigious club trophy. - AFP

FootballAsiaSouth Korea