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Bluewings’ Jurman given two-match ban for gesture

Korea’s pro football league on Friday meted out a two-match ban to an Australian defender for insulting an opposing team player with a “bribe gesture.”

The K League’s discipline committee said Matthew Jurman of the Suwon Samsung Bluewings will miss the next two matches for his inappropriate conduct in a league contest against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Oct. 1. He also needs to pay a fine of 2 million won ($1,770).

With Suwon leading 1-0 at home, Jeonbuk striker Lee Dong-gook earned a penalty kick in the 88th minute when he was brought down in the box by Suwon defender Jang Ho-ik. Before Lee was about to take a spot kick, Jurman approached the 38-year-old veteran and rubbed his fingers together simulating counting money.

The committee also said that Lee heard Jurman saying “how much” while giving the offensive gesture, which implied that the four-time K League MVP bribed the referee.

After the match ended 1-1, Jurman told reporters what he said to Lee was “You’ll miss [the penalty kick].”

Jeonbuk were punished last year after one of their scouts was convicted for bribing two referees in 2013. They were forced to dock nine points and were disqualified from this year’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League because of the scandal.

Jurman joined Suwon this year after playing with Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar in the Australian A-League. The 27-year-old, who can play center back or left back, is a member of the Australian national football team. He recently started in the Socceroos’ 2-1 win over Syria in the Asian World Cup qualifying playoff match in Sydney.


Paralympic officials to visit Korea and inspect venues

The top representative of the Paralympic Games will visit Korea this week to check on preparations for the upcoming multisport event for disabled athletes, local organizers said Friday.

Andrew Parsons, who was elected the new chief of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) last month, will begin a three-day visit to Korea on Sunday, according to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (Pocog). The 40-year-old Brazilian will be accompanied by his predecessor Philip Craven.

Parsons will first inspect a ski facility for disabled athletes in Seoul on Sunday. He will then move on to PyeongChang, 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, to attend the IPC Project Review meeting Tuesday and examine Korea’s preparations for the Paralympic Games next year.

Pocog said Parsons will also meet with Korean President Moon Jae-in before leaving the country Wednesday.

Parsons and Moon are likely to discuss North Korea’s Paralympics participation. South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday that the North submitted a document to the IPC in May detailing its intent to compete at the Winter Paralympics next year, although the communist state hasn’t made further moves since then.

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