Former national soccer coach Choi Tae-wook, 42, who has been indicted on charges of conspiring with an agent to accept money to get his former student into a K League club, has been banned from working with the Korean Professional Football Association’s Technical Study Group (TSG).
“We have immediately excluded former coach Choi Tae-wook from the TSG,” the KFA said on Wednesday.
The federation will discuss further disciplinary action based on the outcome of the trial process and the judgment of the Korea Football Association’s Fairness Committee.
According to the prosecution’s announcement, Choi is facing embezzlement charges for allegedly colluding with his agent, Choi Mo, in the process of handing over money to former Ansan FC manager Lim Jong-heon and Lee Jong-gul of the K League 2.
The prosecution believes that there is sufficient criminal activity in Choi’s charges and has requested a formal trial.
The statutory penalty for bribery is up to two years in prison or a fine of up to 5 million won. However, Choi was not immediately detained.
Choi is a familiar face in the history of South Korean soccer, and many soccer fans are familiar with his image.
He was part of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinal team, and also competed at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
After retiring from the K League 1 Ulsan Hyundai in 2014, he turned to coaching, starting as a youth scout for Ulsan and then as a youth coach for the K League 2 Seoul Eland.
In 2018, he was named national team coach, assisting former national team coach Paulo Bento, and helped South Korea reach the round of 16 at last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The Korea Football Association is also considering the disposition of Choi Tae-wook.
“If the prosecutor’s office notifies us of misconduct, we will look at the indictment and decide whether to convene a tribunal,” said an official from the KFA. “If the tribunal is held, we will hear the parties’ arguments and then watch the outcome of the trial and decide on disciplinary action at the association level.” 토토