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Bribery scandal nixes Jeonbuk v Man City friendly

SEOUL (Reuters) - Plans for a friendly match between Manchester City and South Korean champions Jeonbuk Motors next month have been scrapped due a recent bribery scandal at the K League club.

Jeonbuk were rocked by accusations last month that one of their scouts paid top-flight referees to influence games.

Two referees have been charged with accepting bribes totalling 5 million won ($4,307.52), with the scout making three payments to one official and two to the other, each for 1 million won, in 2013.

The scout has said the payments were of a personal nature and not aimed at influencing games.

Jeonbuk had asked the K League for permission to host the English side at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on July 30.

Korea's Yonhap news quoted a K League official as saying on Monday: "Professional football is quite a big mess due to referee scandals and other things so I officially told Jeonbuk to refrain from organising anything too festive."

In a separate case, two former K League referee chiefs were indicted by prosecutors in a bribery scandal, according to a local media last Thursday.

Bribery allegations have dogged South Korean soccer, prompting K League authorities to introduce a computer-generated allocation system for assigning referees last year.

($1 = 1,160.76 won)

(Writing by Peter Rutherford, Reporting by Lee Jeong Eun; Editing by John O'Brien)

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