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Klinsmann stands by S. Korean intl. Hwang Ui-jo amid police probe on filming accusationBy Yonhap
Published : Nov. 22, 2023 - 09:43
With the South Korean international Hwang Ui-jo under police investigation for alleged illegal filming of a sexual act, national football team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is standing by the player.
Hours before South Korea played China in a World Cup qualifying match in Shenzhen on Tuesday night, Seoul police said they had seized Hwang's mobile phone as part of their probe into accusations that he had filmed his ex-girlfriend during sex without her consent.
In a statement released by her attorney, the ex-girlfriend charged that Hwang's earlier claim that he had recorded their encounter with her consent is "a lie." The woman also said that she had repeatedly asked Hwang to delete the video in question and that Hwang, instead of apologizing, only left her further traumatized with his fabricated claim that the video had been made with her consent.
Through his legal representative, Hwang, who was summoned by police Saturday as a suspect, countered that the woman had agreed to have Hwang film their encounter and she "clearly knew" where Hwang had placed his phone.
Hwang's attorney said the player himself is a victim of an illegal leak of the video in question.
Against this backdrop, Klinsmann still took Hwang to China for the match and brought him off the bench in the second half of South Korea's 3-0 victory.
When asked to explain his decision to play the athlete under police investigation, Klinsmann said he will consider Hwang innocent unless he's proven otherwise.
"These things that are going on is speculations," Klinsmann said in his postmatch press conference. "I live in this world since 40 years of professional football, and there are always speculations. And until there's nothing proven to something that people speculate, I don't believe it.
"It's, for me, totally normal that Ui-jo, whatever is speculated there in Korea at the moment is not true," the coach continued. "And he's a part of this team, a very important player. I hope always when he gets on the field, he scores goals because he's a fantastic player."
Hwang, who plays club football for Norwich City in England's second-tier competition, scored a goal against Singapore in South Korea's previous World Cup qualifying match last Thursday. The 31-year-old has scored 19 times in 62 matches so far. (Yonhap)
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