North Korea youth goalkeeper Jang Paek-Ho has been hit with a hefty 12-month suspension after being found guilty of deliberately conceding a goal.
Paek-Ho was representing his country when they faced Uzbekistan on 23 September as part of the Asian Under-16 championship when the incident happened.
The goalkeeper was beaten by his opposite number whose goal kick bounced over the head of North Korea’s number 18 as his drastic attempt to meet the ball from just outside the centre circle failed. Paek-Ho, chasing the ball back towards his own goal, fell to the floor twice before seeing the ball cross the line.
The footage of the goal went viral, causing the Asian Football Confederation to take action.
As a result of the AFC’s investigation into the incident, both Paek-Ho and his coach Yung Jong-su were issued with a year-long ban.
North Korea, who had already booked their place in the quarter-finals of the championship prior to the match, would face reigning champions Iraq if they claimed victory over Uzbekistan.
The losers, however, would go on to face Oman of who were the surprise package in the quarters in what would undoubtedly be the easiest route to the semi-finals.
After his deliberate attempts to see his side go a goal down four minutes into the second half, Paek-Ho later conceded two more goals within six minutes before being substituted off with 81 minutes on the clock. The score ended 3-1 to Uzbekistan meaning they finished top of the group.
The AFC Disciplinary Committee concluded that both Paek-Ho and Jong-su, along with the North Korean Football Association, had been “guilty of bringing the game into disrepute following the deliberate conceding of a goal.”
Despite beating Oman in the quarter-finals, North Korea received their marching orders in the last four, losing to Iran on penalties.
As a result of the lengthy suspension, Paek-Ho and his coach will miss the U-17 World Cup while the U-19 side have been issued a warning that if they “engage in similar behaviour” they would face disqualification from the AFC U-19 Championship.
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