FIVB may give Lee twins green light to play in Greece
Twin volleyball players Lee Jae-young and Lee Da-young, who were suspended in February following accusations that they bullied their teammates while in school, may be headed to Greece after all with the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) reportedly set to issue an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) today.
The sisters were embroiled in a scandal in February when a former middle school teammate of the pair accused them of being bullies when in school, listing 21 specific allegations including claims that one of the sisters threatened her with a knife. The Korean national team indefinitely suspended the pair and also banned them from ever holding coaching positions.
After their club the Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders' General Manager Kim Yeo-il reportedly told the board of directors of the Korea Volleyball Federation on June 23 that the two players would be registered for the 2021-22 V League season, public opinion flared up again with the backlash worsening as interviews of the alleged victims were reported. The club eventually dropped the plan to register the pair.
As they were no longer part of the Pink Spiders, the sisters are not bound to the club's indefinite suspension any more. As effectively free agents, the sisters reportedly tried to signed a contract with the Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki but the Greek embassy requested an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) to issue their visas.
An ITC can be granted either by the Korea Volleyball Association or FIVB under the assumption that all parties; the players, the original club, the potential club and the association, agree on their transfer.
However, the Korea Volleyball Association has shown no intention of issuing the certificate, quoting rules regarding international transfers that prohibit any players who have conducted violence, sexual harassment, manipulated game results or evaded military service from playing overseas.
The FIVB is finalizing the last steps of the twins’ transfer, having requested the Korean Volleyball Association for a bank account to receive transfer fees. The deadline for providing account information is 7 p.m. on Wednesday, but the association has decided not to receive any fees with FIVB issuing an ITC regardless. The Greek league starts on Oct. 9.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]