When it was reported on the 16th that the Korean national soccer team player Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan), who plays in the Chinese league, was accused of bribery applicable to civilians, Son Jun-ho’s aides strongly denied the possibility of the crime.
Mr. A, Son Jun-ho’s agent, said in a phone call with Yonhap News that day, “(The possibility of match fixing) is not even worth mentioning. Match fixing is impossible.”
Earlier that day, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced through a regular briefing that Son Jun-ho had been detained by the public security system on charges of “bribing non-state actors.”
The ‘crime of accepting bribes by non-state actors’ applies to cases where a person belonging to a company or other unit that is not a government agency illegally accepts the property of another person for the convenience of his/her job.
In the case of a sports event, if a player received money or valuables after receiving an improper request related to the game, this crime could be applied.
Son Jun-ho’s side has explained that they are under investigation for ‘bribery’, not match-fixing. However, judging from what the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on the day, it is difficult to say that the focus of the public security investigation is not on match fixing.
However, considering Son Jun-ho’s status and position in the Chinese league, he doesn’t seem to have much reason to participate in match-fixing.
Son Jun-ho, who joined Shandong in 2021, renewed the contract in May of last year, and according to local media, the annual salary before the renewal was around 4.3 billion won in Korean money. It was a high salary within the top 10 of the Chinese league.
In addition, Mr. A said, “It is difficult to understand that Son Jun-ho, a ‘central midfielder’ who has little involvement in scoring or conceding situations, is suspected of match-fixing.”먹튀검증
The targets of match-fixing crimes are mainly goalkeepers, defenders, and forward strikers. Even in the 2011 match-fixing incident that shook the K-League, most of the players involved were goalkeepers and defenders.
Mr. A also denied the possibility that money and goods were exchanged in the process of transferring Son Jun-ho to Shandong.
Mr. A said, “At the time, there were many recruiting offers for Son Jun-ho, so he could choose any team and go. He had no reason to commit bribery.”
According to Mr. A, there is a possibility that a meeting between the Korean consul and Son Jun-ho will take place on the morning of the 17th at the earliest.
Mr. A said, “I am grateful that the embassy stepped forward to explain to the media about a citizen being involved in a criminal case and promised to help, and it seems to be a hope for Son Jun-ho.”