Ex-Korean National Team Goalie Admits To Throwing Games

by Jay Yim

Add Yeom Dong-Gyun’s name to the list of disgraced athletes to be involved in the ever-growing Korean Professional Football League match-fixing scandal.

Already, 10 K-League players have been indicted in the city of Changwon and received lifetime bans for their participation in the scandal where they accepted bribes to fix matches from gamblers who bet money on illegal gambling websites.

However Yeom, a goalie who signed a three-year-deal with Jenobuk Hyundai Motors on Jan. 24, should receive a lighter punishment as he stepped forward to admit his role in fixing soccer matches when playing for the Chunnam Dragons, (a team he first joined in 2002) during the 2010 season after the K-League announced players had until the end of this month to turn themselves to receive amnesty from the league.

Yeom, has also been a reserve goalie for the 2003 South Korean-under-23 team, the 2008 South Korean national soccer team and also played for the Gwanju Sangmu Bulsajo from 2004-2005 while he was serving military duty.

Yeom first informed his Jeonbuk head coach Choi Kang-hee on June 24, according to league secretary Ahn Gi-heon.

“After speaking with Lee Chul-geun, general manager of Jeonbuk, we decided to hand the case over to prosecutors,” Ahn said.

Five more players had also been arrested in Changwon for their roles the scandal. The league said one of those five was a teammate of the Yeom’s on the Dragons last year. A league official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the arrest likely forced the 27-year old goalie to acknowledge his role in the scandal.

“We had suspected (Yeom) of a possible role in match fixing from last season, but he had denied his charges until now,” the official said.