K League Racism Case Ends Without Suspension of A Match…”Double punishment”

The case of ‘SNS racism’ by Ulsan Hyundai players in the professional soccer K League 1 was concluded without additional disciplinary action by the Korea Football Association.

According to the Korea Football Association on the 27th, the Fair Committee of the Football Association held a meeting on the 25th and approved the disciplinary result report submitted by the Professional Football Federation as original.

The Fair Trade Commission also decided not to impose additional disciplinary action at the Football Association level on the perpetrators.

As a result, Ulsan Lee Kyu-seong and Lee Myung-jae, and Park Yong-woo, who transferred to Al-Ain, UAE after the incident, will not receive additional disciplinary action other than a one-game suspension and a penalty of 15 million won each by the professional league on the 22nd of last month.

The 30 million won penalty of the professional league against the Ulsan club was also confirmed.

With the criticism of ‘punishment with a cotton bat’ over the disciplinary level of the professional federation, attention was focused on whether the FTC of the Football Association would issue additional disciplinary measures, such as suspension from the national team.

If you look at the ‘Disciplinary Standards by Type’ of the FTC Regulations of the Football Association, players who have acted as ‘discrimination based on gender, nationality, race and religion’ will be punished with ‘a suspension of participation for more than 3 months and a suspension of qualification for less than 2 years’.

However, there was also a counterargument that it would be a ‘double punishment’ for the Football Association to impose additional disciplinary action on the same issue.

In fact, in the FTC regulations of the Football Association, there is also a content that ‘double punishment between the association and member organizations or between member organizations is prohibited for the same issue’. There is a lot of room to see that it conflicts with the suspension regulations.

In order to make a clear decision, the Korea Football Association’s Fair Trade Commission asked the Korea Sports Council, a higher-level organization, whether additional disciplinary action was possible, and if possible, suspension of national team games or suspension of qualifications.

The Sports Association responded that ‘the principle of prohibition of double punishment must be observed’.

In addition, regarding the question of whether it is possible to suspend participation in the national team game or suspend qualification, he answered, ‘If the rules of the sports association and the member organization are different, you must follow the rules of the sports association.”

There is no discipline suspension or qualification suspension ‘limited to the national team’ in the type of disciplinary action set by the Fair Sports Committee. In other words, it was the judgment of the Sports Association that issuing disciplinary actions such as suspension only for national team games should not be done as much as it is against the disciplinary regulations of the Sports Association.

An official from the Korea Football Association explained, “The Korea Football Association’s FTC has determined that it is not possible to impose a disciplinary suspension on the national team game or suspension from all competitions for a certain period of time, as it violates the rules of the Sports Association or the law.”

He continued, “What the FTC could do was to determine whether the professional federation’s disciplinary measures were inappropriate or lacking in rationality.

Park Yong-woo, Lee Myung-jae, and Lee Gyu-seong caused a great controversy by making racially discriminatory remarks on social media about Sasalak Highfracon, who played for Jeonbuk Hyundai in the past.

The Ulsan club had a conversation with them on social media, but only Jeong Seung-hyun, who avoided the Pro League discipline, was suspended for one game on its own, and no additional discipline was imposed on Park Yong-woo, Lee Myung-jae, and Lee Kyu-seong.


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