Korean prosecutors indict 12 over match-fixing

SEOUL - Prosecutors in South Korea said on Thursday they had indicted 12 key figures implicated in a match-fixing scandal that has rocked professional football in the country, local media reported.

Five more active players were among those indicted in the southeastern town of Changwon in a further blow to the K-League, according to Yonhap news agency.

A total of 10 players, along with gambling brokers, are alleged to have been part of the match-fixing ring, with eight of the players from a single club.

"Investigations on three more games suspected of match-fixing are going on," Yonhap quoted Gwak Gyu-hong of the prosecutor's office in Changwon as saying.

Officials declined to comment when asked about the case by Reuters.

A midfielder for the team is accused of receiving 120 million won ($110,000) in exchange for helping his side lose a match, Yonhap reported.

Prosecutors believe the player shared money with seven team mates in return for their help in throwing a K-League Cup game.

South Korea's government has promised stiffer punishments for those found guilty of match-fixing, including hefty fines, life-time bans and up to seven years in prison.

State-run sports bookmaker Sports Toto has stopped taking bets on matches at the request of K-League club owners.

The K-League Cup, a relatively minor competition, is thought to be more susceptible to match-rigging as games are held midweek attracting fewer fans and with clubs sometimes fielding weakened teams.