Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG Landers), Lee Yong-chan (NC Dinos) and Chung Chul-won (Doosan Bears) received community service and fines for drinking alcohol during the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). There were no national team suspensions or suspensions from the KBO League, leading to criticism that the punishment was limited to a cotton bat.

The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) held a punishment committee meeting at the Korea Baseball Hall Building in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on 7 March and decided to discipline the three players involved in the WBC drinking controversy based on Article 151 of the KBO’s rules, which states that they are to be disciplined for behaviour that impairs dignity.메이저놀이터

Kim Kwang-hyun, who visited an entertainment bar on two occasions, on 7 March when he travelled from Osaka to Tokyo and on 11 March, shortly after the end of the WBC Japan game, was fined 80 hours of community service and a sanction of 5 million won. Jung Chul-won, who accompanied Kim on the 11th, and Lee Yong-chan, who visited the same bar with an acquaintance on the same day, were each sentenced to 40 hours of community service and a fine of 3 million won.

The KBO recently conducted its own investigation after the controversial drinking behaviour of the team’s players was raised on YouTube and in the media. The players submitted statements and were interviewed in person. We also checked with the entertainment venues they were known to have visited, and found that Kim Kwang-hyun had consumed alcohol on two occasions and Chung Chul-won and Lee Yong-chan had consumed alcohol on one occasion during the official tournament. However, the three players did not consume alcohol on the night before the game.

The KBO ultimately decided to hold a punishment committee and imposed community service and financial penalties on the three KBO players for tarnishing the dignity of the day.

According to Article 151 of the KBO’s rules, “If a player engages in behaviour outside of the game that damages the dignity of the game and causes a social scandal, appropriate sanctions may be imposed, such as disqualification, suspension of duties, suspension of participation activities, suspension of travelling, imposition of sanctions or warning.

However, the KBO did not impose any disciplinary action on the three players, including suspension from the KBO League and suspension from the national team. This has raised questions about the effectiveness of disciplinary action. The Korean Football Association (KFA) handed down one-year national team bans to four players who were caught drinking during the 2007 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

The KBO said, “The punishment committee discussed the level of punishment, including suspension from the KBO League and suspension from the national team, but also decided that the community service punishment was severe enough. The 80 hours and 40 hours are very long compared to previous punishments. We decided on a punishment that could be realistically applied to the players,” he explained.

As a result, Kim Kwang-hyun, Lee Yong-chan and Jeong Chul-won will be able to play in KBO games from the time they are eligible to register for the first team roster. Kim Kwang-hyun was removed from the first team roster on the 1st, and Lee Yong-chan and Jung Chul-won on the 2nd. Kim Kwang-hyun will be eligible to return to the first team on the 11th and Lee Yong-chan and Jung Chul-won on the 12th.

This also opens the way for them to continue playing for the national team. While Kim retired from the national team after the WBC, and Lee is in his mid-30s and can no longer wear the Korean flag, Chung, who was born in 1999, is eligible for selection.

However, the level of discipline is bound to be controversial given the publicity surrounding the drinking scandal. Some have even criticised the cotton-ball punishment.

The lack of clarity on the penalties for drinking while on international duty has been a problem. In the run-up to the committee’s meeting, some argued that drinking alcohol is not a criminal offence and should be seen as a social injustice, and that there was insufficient legal grounds to punish the players.

In response, the KBO apologised for its poor management of the national team and said it would “further refine the national team rules to prevent recurrence”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *