North Korean keeper banned for ‘free goal’


KUALA LUMPUR: A teenage North Korean goalkeeper was Friday banned and fined for deliberately letting in a goal, thereby bringing the game “into disrepute”, the Asian Football Confederation said.

Jang Paek-ho allowed himself to be beaten by a massive goal kick from his Uzbekistan counterpart in a 3-1 loss at the AFC Under-16 Championship in September.

Jang let the ball bounce over him, then dived to the ground as the ball sailed on into his net, helping gift a win to the Uzbeks who topped their group and thereby were drawn against eventual winners Iraq in the quarter-finals.

North Korea finished second as a result of the loss and went on to face a less tricky tie in Oman, whom they beat on a run to the semi-finals where they bowed out to Iran.

The semifinalists qualified for the Under-17 World Cup, which India will host next year.

The AFC fined Jang $1,000 and banned him for a year while the North Korea Football Association has been fined $20,000.

North Korea Under-16 coach Yung Jong-su received a $5,000 fine and a year suspension.

Yung and Jang—whose comical attempt to make a save has been viewed some five million times on YouTube—will now miss the Under-17 tournament as a result of their bans.

The AFC warned the North Koreans they face a ban from the 2018 AFC Under-19 Championship qualifiers if they “engage in similar behaviour” again.



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