After being sentenced to eight months in jail and two years’ probation on Monday following a controversial military service evasion case, former South Korean striker Seok Hyun-jun will not be able to return to the field for the foreseeable future.

According to the Korean Football Association’s rules, players cannot be registered during the probationary period.

Seok, who hasn’t been able to find a league since July last year when his contract with Troyes (France) was cancelled, is at a crossroads in his career as he will not be able to play for at least two more years from the time his sentence is finalised.

Football fans who have watched Seok lose his eligibility due to a suspended sentence may be reminded of Player A, who played for a K League 1 club.

In August 2019, A was sentenced to 10 months in prison and two years of probation.

The year before, the court found him responsible for crossing the centre line while driving and colliding with an oncoming vehicle, causing casualties.

A, who reportedly admitted fault and consistently apologised to the victims, continued to play professional football immediately after his sentencing.

According to a Yonhap news report on the 4th, the KFA said that since the sentence was not a prison sentence, there was no problem for A to play in the league 먹튀검증.

There is no provision in the federation’s registration regulations to disqualify a player in the event of a probationary sentence.

The problem is that the federation’s “professional player registration provisions” as applied to Seok covers not only the semi-professional K3 and K4 leagues, but also professional football’s K1 and K2.

Anyone who receives a suspended sentence of more than a year’s imprisonment is classified as a professional athlete and cannot be registered for that period.

If the process had proceeded normally, A would have been ineligible for two years from August 2019, or at the very least, he would not have been able to register for the 2020 season.

However, A played 10 more games in the 2019 season after his sentence. He played 24 games in 2020 and another 23 in 2021 before his probation ended in early August of the following year.

The registration of professional players is a three-tiered process, with the club listing the players, the federation second, and the association finally approving the list.

There was a real back-and-forth between these three entities.

In deciding whether to register the player based on its own screening, it is inevitable to question whether the federation’s administration actively sought to ensure that it did not violate the rules of the higher authority, the association.

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