Football

Jeonbuk banned from ACL title defence

Reigning Asian club champions Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea will be unable to defend their title over their involvement in a 2013 bribery scandal, the continent's football governing body said yesterday.

Jeonbuk were docked nine points and fined US$91,000 (S$129,000) by the K League's disciplinary committee in September for payments a club scout made to referees in 2013.

The club, who finished second in the K-League last year, won the Asian Champions League (ACL) in November after sealing a 3-2 aggregate win over the United Arab Emirates' Al Ain.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said the Entry Control Body (ECB), a judicial independent body, has disqualified Jeonbuk from the 2017 ACL.

"Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors is ineligible to participate in AFC competitions for the 2017 season due to its indirect involvement in activities aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of matches during the 2013 and 2014 K-League seasons," the AFC said in a statement.

"Such indirect involvement was found to be in contravention of Article 11.8 of the Entry Manual for the AFC Club Competitions 2017-2020. "

South Korea's Jeju United will take Jeonbuk's place in Group H while Ulsan Hyundai will replace Jeju in the play-offs in this year's ACL. - REUTERS

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