South Korean footballer Son Jun-ho detained in China

Son was detained for allegedly accepting a bribe, the Chinese authorities said. The move continues a crackdown by China to clean its image in the football world.

Son Jun-ho has played some 18 international matches for his home country© Lee Jin-man/AP Photo/picture alliance.

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South Korean footballer Son Jun-ho has been detained in China on suspicion of accepting a bribe, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson for the ministry, said Son was placed in custody “recently” and was under investigation.

South Korean media reported that the 31-year-old midfielder was detained at an airport in Shanghai on Friday.

Son Jun-ho during the World Cup round-of-16 match against Brazil in December 2022© Martin Meissner/AP Photo/picture alliance

The South Korean consulate in the provincial capital of Shenyang has been informed about Son’s detention and allowed access to the player as required by international treaty.

Son’s detention comes as China cracks downs on corruption and match-fixing among coaches, team owners, referees and government sports officials.

Son moved to China in 2021

Son moved to China to play for Shandong Taishan club in 2021. The club won the Chinese Football League – the highest tier of professional football – that year.

Shandong Taishan have not officially commented on the case, but the club posted a message on its official Weibo account on the day he was detained wishing him a happy birthday.

Son has played for South Korea at least 18 times, including at the World Cup in Qatar last year.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency was the first to break the news.

Source: rm/wd (AP, Reuters)

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