Footballer involved in match-rigging 'kills himself'

A former professional football player accused of involvement in match rigging was found dead near his home Saturday in an apparent suicide.

Lee Gyeong-hwan, a former midfielder for Suwon Samsung Blue Wings, died after falling from the apartment building, Incheon police said Monday.

"I heard a thud outside and I went to check. There he lied dead," said the janitor who reported his death to police. Investigators presume that Lee killed himself.

According to reports, Lee and his widowed mother has been suffering financial difficulties since he had been banned for life from Korea's top professional football league.

The 24-year-old was kicked out of the league following allegations of match fixing. He was also put on probation for three years and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service.

A large scale crackdown by K-League last year on match-fixing resulted in arrests and indictments of dozens of active and former players, several of whom were given lifetime ban from football.

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