21 people accused of baseball match-fixing schemes in SKorea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police have accused 21 people, including professional baseball players, brokers and others, of involvement in alleged match-fixing schemes.

In a statement Monday, police said the 21 includes two pitchers who allegedly deliberately allowed walks in certain innings in 2014 games in return for money from brokers.

The two pitchers are Yoo Chang-sik of Kia Tigers and Lee Sung-min of Lotte Giants. Yoo played for Hanwha Eagles and Lee for NC Dinos at the time of their alleged schemes, according to police.

Police accused another NC Dinos player, identified only by the surname Kim, of trying to persuade his teammates to take part in match-fixing before being released from his club.

Both Lee and Kim confessed to NC Dinos officials about their match-fixing efforts later in 2014. The team released Kim but retained Lee before trading him to KT Wiz for 1 billion won ($875,000), police said. Lee eventually moved to Lotte Giants.

Police said they’ll ask prosecutors to indict all 21 people, who also include two NC Dinos officials involved in Lee’s trade and brokers who gave money to Yoo and Lee.

South Korea’s major professional sports leagues, including baseball and soccer, have been rocked by match-fixing scandals in recent years that have led to convictions and lifetime bans for some players and coaches.

In August, a South Korean court handed down a suspended two-year prison term to another NC pitcher for deliberately allowing or attempting to allow walks in four games last season. A broker involved in the scheme was sentenced to one year in prison.