Korean striker suspended from national team for allegedly filming a sexual encounter with an ex-girlfriend
South Korean striker Hwang Ui-jo has been suspended from the national team, just seven weeks before the Asian Cup, due to an ongoing police investigation into allegations of illegal filming of an ex-girlfriend.
The Norwich City forward is accused of recording a sexual encounter with his former partner on his phone without her consent, a charge he vehemently denies. Hwang featured for South Korea in two recent World Cup qualifiers, including scoring a penalty against Singapore. However, the Korea Football Association (KFA) has opted to suspend him pending the outcome of the police inquiry.
Despite the suspension from the national team, the 31-year-old remains eligible to play for his English second-tier club, Norwich, and even scored in a recent 3-2 defeat against Watford.
The KFA released a statement stating, “Until a definitive conclusion is drawn, we have decided to exclude Hwang from the national team.” Lee Youn-nam, head of the KFA's ethics committee, emphasized the importance of national players maintaining a high degree of morality and responsibility, making it challenging for Hwang to participate in normal national team activities while under investigation.
Hwang, currently on loan at Norwich from Nottingham Forest, has scored 19 goals in 62 appearances for South Korea. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, respecting the KFA's decision, expressed understanding of the situation. Klinsmann had previously selected Hwang for recent World Cup qualifiers even after the police investigation had commenced, defending his decision amid speculation.
The Asian Cup is set to commence in Qatar on January 12, with South Korea's opening match against Bahrain scheduled for three days later.