SEOUL - South Korea's professional football league handed down 10 lifetime bans on Friday, its first ever in the country's top league, for match fixing.
The K-League's match-fixing probe has so far caught 10 active players along with gambling brokers. Those found guilty face life-time bans and up to seven years in jail.
The players caught so far have been charged with taking money in exchange for helping their teams lose two matches in April, prosecutors said.
Eight of them are from the Daejeon Citizen team, with one player accused of receiving 120 million won ($110,600) and also sharing it with seven team mates.
"We asked the players to attend the committee meeting to determine punishment to give them a chance to explain, none of them attended," Qwak Byung-cheol, the president of the investigating committee, said in a statement.
The scandal has also been linked to a player found dead last month in a hotel room. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported a suicide note had been discovered referring to the match-fixing ring.
State-run sports bookmaker Sports Toto has stopped taking bets on games at the request of K-League club owners, while the government has threatened to terminate funding for sports leagues tainted by match-fixing.