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AFC Champions League winner faces ban

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Asian title-holders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors could be banned from next year’s AFC Champions League over a match-fixing scandal after a new eligibility body was unveiled on Friday.

Jeonbuk, who lifted the Asian trophy in November, two months after they were punished for match-fixing in South Korea’s K-League, face a possible one-year ban by the five-member panel.

The Asian Football Confederation said the independent Entry Control Body, led by China’s Liu Chi, will make decisions based on a new document setting out rules for eligibility.

Any clubs involved in “arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level’’ will be barred from the Asian competition for one season, the document says.

“The AFC has a zero tolerance towards match manipulation and has done more than many other bodies to tackle that threat to sport,’’ AFC general secretary Windsor John said in a statement announcing the new body.

Asia’s football authorities have long struggled against match-fixing, with major scandals seen in a swathe of countries including South Korea and China.

In September, K-League leaders Jeonbuk were docked nine points and fined 100 million won ($83,000) after one of their scouts was convicted of bribing referees during the 2013 season.