Jang Hyun-soo banned for life from nat’l team

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Jang Hyun-soo banned for life from nat’l team

Korean football player Jang Hyun-soo has been hit with a lifetime ban from the national team for doctoring his community service records.

The Korea Football Association’s (KFA) sports fair play committee, formerly the discipline committee, ruled on Thursday that Jang will be permanently barred from representing Korea and will be fined 30 million won ($26,340) for his misconduct.

The decision automatically rules Jang out of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup next year. The continental tournament will be held from Jan. 5 to Feb. 1 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The KFA rule states that a player who is determined to have committed social misconduct is banned from national team selection, while those who damage the dignity of the national team could face penalties ranging from a warning to a lifetime ban.

Suh Chang-hee, the lawyer who heads the committee, said that the KFA feels sorry for the fans over the incident but that it decided to punish the FC Tokyo player for damaging the national team’s honor.

“We decided to permanently ban Jang from national team selection,” he said. “Jang will also get the maximum fine under the KFA code.”

When asked about possibility of lifting Jang’s punishment in the future, Suh said there’s no such KFA rule on rescinding a penalty regarding national team selection.

“A player who received a lifetime suspension from playing football could be reviewed for a possible lifting of the ban after seven years, but this penalty regarding national team selection has no such rule,” he said. “Since Jang plays in Japan, we thought that suspending him from competing in local events isn’t really a punishment.”

The KFA had already announced Jang would not be selected for Korea’s friendly matches in November, a decision that was made after Jang requested to sit out to allow him time to complete his community service.

Jang recently admitted his wrongdoing after Rep. Ha Tae-kyung of the Bareunmirae Party accused the defender of doctoring his community service records during a parliamentary audit.

Able-bodied Korean men are required to serve in the military for about two years. But Jang is exempt from serving the full mandatory service after he earned a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games. By law, all Olympic medal winners and Asian Games gold medalists are entitled to exemption in recognition of their contribution to the country’s reputation and prestige.

But those who earn the exemption need to complete basic military training, which can take up to 60 days, as well as 544 hours of sports-related community service over 34 months.

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