A third South Korean professional football player who was banned for life from the top pro league in Korea has apparently committed suicide.
24 year old Lee Gyeong-hwan, a midfielder for the Daejeon Citizen and
Suwon Samsung Blue
Wings from 2009 to 2011 was found his home after reportedly jumping off from his apartment building according to a report by the Incheon police who said he died on the way to hospital.
The janitor who reported the death to the police said “I heard a thud outside and I went to check. There he lay dead”
A police official said as there was a CCTV recording of Lee getting on an elevator of the building just minutes before his fall, it is “certain” that he took his own life.
Lee and his widowed mother were having financial difficulties since the lifetime ban imposed on Lee who was kicked out of the league over match-fixing allegations. He was also on probation for three years and directed to carry out 300 hours of community service.
A large scale crackdown by the K-League last year resulted in arrests and indictments of dozens of active and former players, several of whom were given lifetime bans from football.
Prosecutors last year charged 46 current and former players and 11 criminal gang members and bookmakers for fixing the results of 15 matches in 2010.
The players were accused of fixing games after accepting bribes from betting syndicates and all of them were banned for life.
Lee’s was the third suicide linked to the scandal that erupted last year. In October 2011 a former coach of the military football cluyb was found dead in another apparent suicide after being sentenced to two years in prison and probation for his involvement in match fixing.
In May, 29 year old midfielder Jeong Jong-Kwan who played for a third division side in Korea also committed suicide in a Seoul hotel while being investigated.