Basketball: Korean league bans disgraced coach for life over match-fixing

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea's top-flight basketball league (KBL) has imposed a lifetime ban on disgraced former coach Kang Dong Hee, who was found guilty of fixing matches involving his Dongbu Promy team.

He was sentenced to 10 months in prison by a district court in August after being found guilty of taking almost US$50,000 (S$64,200) from brokers to fix four games in 2011.

The KBL's disciplinary committee met on Friday and decided to remove him from the league, handing down the heaviest punishment available, Yonhap News reported.

Kang, widely regarded as one of South Korea's best-ever players and MVP of the play-offs in the KBL's inaugural 1997 season, was an assistant coach at Dongbu until 2009 before he took over as head coach.

They finished second in the championship in 2011 and 2012.

Basketball is the latest sport in South Korea to be hit hard by match-fixing in recent years with incidents in football, volleyball and baseball forcing the government to take a hardline stance on the issue.

The Seoul government threatened to shut down the country's top-flight football league, after 41 players were banned following investigations that revealed widespread corruption.