S. Korean footballer Suicide after match-fixing ban

SEOUL: A South Korean footballer who was banned for life over a match-fixing scandal has taken his own life, police said Monday, and the third suicide linked to the controversy that erupted last year.

Lee Kyung-Hwan, 24, was Saturday found critically injured in front of an apartment building in the city of Incheon, west of Seoul, after apparently jumping off the building, a city police official told AFP.

He was pronounced dead on his way to hospital, he said.

The former midfielder played from 2009 to 2011 for Daejeon Citizen and Suwon Samsung Bluewings of the K-League until he received a life ban last year after admitting involvement in widespread match fixing.

Prosecutors in 2011 charged 57 people 46 current and former players and 11 criminal gang members and bookmakers for fixing the results of 15 matches in 2010.

The players were charged with fixing games after taking bribes from betting rings.  All of them, including Lee, were banned for life by the country’s football association.  Lee received three years’ probation in court.

Last October, Lee Soo-Cheol, a former coach of the military football club was found dead in an apparent suicide after being sentenced to two years in prison with probation for his involvement in match fixing.

In May, Jeong Jong-Kwan, a 29-year-old midfielder for a third-division professional league team, committed suicide at a hotel in Seoul while being investigated over the scandal.