Repeated drunk driving by foreigners in the K-League… Losing clubs need safeguards
Drunk driving again.
Within 13 months, three K-League players were disciplined for drunk driving. In early July of last year, Takahiro Kunimoto, a Japanese midfielder who belonged to Jeonbuk Hyundai at the time, was caught driving drunk. A day later, the Korea Professional Football Federation (hereinafter referred to as the Federation) issued a 60-day disciplinary action to Kunimoto, suspension of K-League activities. Kunimoto’s team, Jeonbuk, terminated the contract with Kunimoto four days after the drunk driving incident.
The next batter was Jonathan Moya. Jonathan, the key striker of FC Anyang and the K-League 2’s top scorer at the beginning of this season, was found to have been drunk driving last April and became a rumor. As in the case of Kunimoto, the federation punished Jonatan by not participating in official K-League games for 60 days, and Anyang terminated the contract with Jonatan early and released him.
About 4 months after Jonathan left Korea, this time, news came that Suwon FC’s foreign striker Lars Beltbeek had been driving. Unlike Kunimoto and Jonathan, the federation suspended Lars for 15 games and imposed a fine of 4 million won. Lars was unable to digest the remainder of his season due to the discipline.
Unexpected variables and damage
caused by K-League clubs and drunk driving by foreigners have been and will be received by their teams. The damage doesn’t just stop at lowering one’s head by posting an apology on social media after foreigners’ drunk driving because the clubs, which are difficult to manage even the departure of individual players, lack management. Jeonbuk and Anyang, who lost Kunimoto and Jonathan during the previous season, also took a big hit on their team strength.
Kunimoto has been active as the core of the team since joining Jeonbuk in 2020, and even at the time of controversy over drunk driving, he was contributing to the team by boosting his performance. Jeonbuk, who lost Kunimoto during the season, eventually gave up the championship to Ulsan Hyundai and finished the season in second place.
Jonathan was a difficult player to replace in Anyang. One of the reasons Anyang was able to rise early this season was thanks to the presence of Jonathan. After Jonathan left, Anyang continued to compete for the top ranks thanks to the performances of other players such as Park Jae-yong and Andrigo, but are currently in a state of fifth place. Since Park Jae-yong and Andrigo left in the summer transfer market, Anyang cannot help but think of Jonathan.
Suwon FC is also expected to have a major power leak. Lars, who recorded 9 goals and 5 assists this season, is Suwon FC’s highest scorer and the second most attacking player after Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul) in the K-League 1. Aside from his record, Lars is a huge part of Suwon FC’s tactics. Suwon FC, which lost its main striker due to an unexpected incident, must take off the four and compete for relegation for the rest of the season. In addition, Lars is also expected to go through contract termination procedures, as the previous case explains.
Bigger problem of drunk driving, concerns about ‘abuse’
One of the stories that comes out whenever drunk driving by outsiders in the K League breaks out is that outsiders are trying to abuse it. In terms of Korean sentiment, it is difficult for K-League clubs to have players who have been drunk driving, which inevitably leads to contract termination. It is also the reason why Kunimoto and Jonatan left the team despite being a large part of the team.
What is pointed out is after that. Kunimoto terminated his contract with Jeonbuk and found a new team within two weeks. Even the team Kunimoto transferred to is a team belonging to the Portuguese Primeira Liga and the first division of Portuguese professional football. Jonathan signed a contract with Hyderabad FC of the Indian Super League 3 months after leaving Anyang. With these cases, there are voices of doubt that foreigners abuse drunk driving to leave the team.
Suwon FC also recognized this point and did not immediately terminate the contract with Lars. Suwon FC said, “According to the opinion that termination of the contract without any conditions, such as the recent case of other clubs, is not helpful to prevent a recurrence in the future, we will hold the club’s team management committee again to make a final decision.” said it did
Necessity of safety device to minimize damage
There is a need for safety device that can minimize the damage experienced by clubs. In reality, the only thing that can be called a safety device is a penalty.
An official from the federation said, “It is possible to add a penalty clause according to the regulations. There is no upper limit on the amount. However, at the stage of reviewing the contract, if the penalty is set at an excessive level, the federation can express its opinion to some extent.” .토토사이트
It is not an easy task for a club to include a penalty clause in contracts with players. This is because it is a clause that can feel burdensome from the point of view of a player signing a contract. However, through the cases of Kunimoto, Jonatan, and Lars, I was able to realize the need for a safety device that can minimize the damage to the club.
In the end, it is up to the K-League clubs and the federation. An official from the federation said, “We sympathize with the cases of abuse. It is not yet at the stage where institutional changes are likely to occur, but we are looking for ways to prevent such cases from occurring in our own way.”