A South Korean footballer has been detained by Chinese police in relation to a bribery case.

According to Korean media, Son Jun-Ho, 31, who plays in the national side and in the Chinese Super League, was detained at a Shanghai airport on Friday, but, neither South Korean or Chinese officials have commented on the case.

Though, Yonhap News Agency citing sources, has said Seoul’s diplomats are seeking contact with Mr Son and further details on his case, as South Korean diplomats will meet with Mr Son “to figure out exactly what kind of charges” he is being investigated for.

He is under police custody in Liaoning province in the northeast, reported Reuters, citing an unnamed diplomatic source.

When asked for details on Mr Son’s case at a regular press conference on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he was not aware of the case.

But reports of Mr Son’s detention come amid a concerted push by Chinese authorities to crackdown on corruption and match-fixing in Chinese football.

China has arrested at least four football officials in the past three months for alleged wrongdoing.

Mr Son moved to China’s Shandong province in 2021 where he played as midfielder for Shandong Taishan. The club won the Chinese Football League – the highest tier of professional football in China – that year.

He also plays for South Korea’s national team and has played 20 international matches for his home country, including in the Fifa World Cup last year.

Chinese football has long been engulfed in allegations of bribery and match-fixing. Recent detentions of major football figures have dealt another setback to the country’s football ambitions.

In February, just as stadiums started to reopen from Covid lockdowns, the president of the Chinese Football Association Chen Xuyuan was detained for suspected “serious violations of discipline and the law”.

Mr Chen’s arrest was the fourth known example of a senior football official to be investigated in less than three months.

Match fixing has also sparked controversy in South Korean football recently. Last month, the entire executive board of Korea’s Football Association resigned after attempting to pardon some 100 people who were banned from the sport due to match-fixing and other offences.

BBC/Taiwo Akinola

Subscribe to our Telegram and YouTube Channels also join our Whatsapp


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *