South Korean football club Jeju United said Friday they will appeal penalties handed down by the Asian Football Confederation following their on-field brawl against a Japanese team last month.
The K League Classic club said the AFC suspended Cho Yong-hyung for six months with a fine of $20,000, Baek Dong-gyu for three months with a fine of $15,000, and Kweon Han-jin for two matches with a fine of $1,000 for their involvement in a brawl during the AFC Champions League (ACL) round of 16 second leg against Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium in Saitama, Japan, on May 31. Jeju were also ordered to pay $40,000.
In this photo taken by the K League on May 31, 2017, players and coaches from Jeju United and Urawa Red Diamonds get tangled up in an on-field brawl during the Asian Football Confederation Champions League round of 16 match at Saitama Stadium in Saitama, Japan. (Yonhap)
Cho was shown a red card for his from-behind sliding tackle of Shinzo Koroki in the 81st minute, while Baek, who was an unused substitute, rushed off the bench and elbowed Urawa captain Yuki Abe at the end of extra time. After the match ended in a 3-0 win for Urawa -- a result that gave the Japanese side a quarterfinal spot with a 3-2 aggregate -- Jeju players got into a brawl with some even seen chasing Urawa players off the pitch.
Urawa then filed a complaint to the AFC about Jeju's violent actions, and the Asian football governing body meted out its punishment accordingly.
Jeju said the penalties they received are too severe and will challenge the AFC decision.
"Urawa first made a gesture to taunt us, and caused a brawl," a Jeju official said. "We're perplexed that the AFC ordered heavy punishments for us."
Jeju said they submitted an explanatory document to the AFC on Thursday. The club claimed that compared to previous cases their punishments are too harsh and unusual.
At the 2015 ACL, Al-Nassr's Fabian Estoyanoff attacked Lehkwiya's South Korean midfielder Nam Tae-hee from behind and threw punches in the tunnel after the match, but received only a six-match suspension.
If confirmed, three Jeju players subject to suspension will not be able to compete in official domestic, continental and international football matches, including the K League contests at home.
Jeju are currently second in the 12-team K League Classic. They finished third last year in the first division. (Yonhap)