November 7 – A North Korean goalkeeper who deliberately conceded a goal has been banned for a year and is out of next October’s Under-17 World Cup for bringing the game into disrepute.
Jang Paek-ho was beaten by the opposition keeper as North Korea lost 3-1 to Uzbekistan at the AFC Under-16 Championship in September. Jang came rushing out of his area and appeared to duck underneath a long kick forward. The Asian Football Confederation imposed a 12-month ban on both him and North Korea under-16 team coach Yung Jong Su.
“The effect of the match suspensions also means that Yung and Jang are now suspended from the FIFA Under-17 World Cup,” an AFC statement said.
The AFC also fined the player $1000, his coach $5000 and the North Korean football federation $20,000.
North Korea’s defeat to Uzbekistan ensured they got an easier opponent in the quarterfinals. By losing and finishing runners-up in their group, North Korea next faced unheralded Oman, whom they went on to beat in a penalty shootout. Uzbekistan’s victory meant they played eventual winners Iraq in the quarter-finals.
The four teams who made the semis all qualified for the 2017 U17 World Cup in India. The AFC will allow North Korea to compete – without Jang and Yung – but warned they would ban the team from the 2018 AFC U19 Championship if they “engage in similar behaviour” during qualifying for that event.
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