Jeon’s fixing case prompts introspectionThe game-fixing scandal involving Korean Basketball League (KBL) coach Jeon Chang-jin has prompted other professional leagues to review their own situations.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said this week it is investigating Jeon, who now coaches Anyang Korea Ginseng Corporation, for allegedly betting 300 million won ($273,000) against his team in February.
The 52-year-old, who was then coach of Busan KT Sonicboom, allegedly used bench players in the second half in at least five games to ensure that his team would lose.
Jeon’s lawyer denied the accusations, saying acquaintances used Jeon’s name and the five-time KBL Coach of the Year never knew they were gambling.
While Jeon is expected to be summoned by police next week, the KBL on Tuesday held an emergency board meeting with KBL Commissioner Kim Young-ki, who returned from a business trip to Japan.
“We have already submitted data requested by the police,” said KBL Secretary General Lee Jae-min after the meeting.
Since former Wonju Dongbu Promy coach Kang Dong-hee was convicted of fixing games in 2013, the KBL has been running the Clean Basket Center, a program to educate players and coaches and prevent price fixing.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said it also held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures to prevent game-fixing. In 2012, two players were indicted for fixing games in Korea’s No.1 professional sport.
“We are in the middle of the season, so we can’t probe entire teams, but we will reinforce our education efforts and remind each team about the situation,” said KBO Secretary General Yang Hae-young.
Since the scandal in 2012, the KBO has used a secret inspection team of former police detectives.
The K-League also said it will discuss the problem of match-fixing with players and coaches, and ensure the everyone understands what actions are illegal. The nation’s top professional football league in 2011 saw more than 40 players involved in match-fixing, including former national team players Choi Sung-kuk and Kim Dong-hyun.
The Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO) said it also contacted each club to make sure they take all possible steps to prevent fixing. In 2012, 16 former and active players received lifetime bans from KOVO after prosecutors found them guilty of rigging matches.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [firstname.lastname@example.org]