South Korea to form supervisory body to curb match-fixing

SEOUL (REUTERS) - The South Korean government on Wednesday said it would set up a separate supervisory body to curb the menace of match-fixing, which has plagued professional sports in the Asian country.

Basketball is the latest sport to get mired in a match-fixing scandal in Korea with a top coach being arrested for allegedly rigging matches during the 2010 to 2011 Korean Basketball League season.

"This new body will integrate some of the functions previously handled individually by each league, such as investigating match-fixing allegations and educating athletes," a sports ministry statement was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

"The council will be quick on its feet and will be sustainable."

The ministry said it will double the financial reward for reporting match-fixing practices and will also ask leagues to reduce grants to teams implicated in rigging.

South Korean sport has been hit hard by match-fixing in recent years with incidents in soccer, volleyball and baseball forcing the government to take a hard-line stance on the issue.

Seoul also threatened to shut down the country's top flight K-League after 41 players were banned in January following investigations that revealed widespread corruption.