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Korean player held in China in bribery probe – source

By Eduardo Baptista

BEIJING (Reuters) – South Korean soccer player Son Jun-ho is being held in police custody in northeast China in connection with a bribery case, a Korean diplomatic source said on Monday.

Son was detained on Friday, his 31st birthday. Reuters was unable to reach him for comment.

Son plays for the South Korean national team and Chinese Super League club Shandong Taishan, based in the northeastern province of Shandong.

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Son was currently in the custody of the Liaoning Public Security Department in connection to a bribery case, according to an official at South Korea’s consulate-general in Shenyang.

South Korea coach Paulo Bento with Son Jun-ho and Son Heung-min after the match as South Korea are eliminated from the World Cup REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case, said the consulate had requested a meeting with Son as soon as possible and was in contact with his family.

The official gave no further details.

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Shandong Taishan have not commented publicly on the case but the club posted a message on its official Weibo account on the day he was detained wishing him a happy birthday.

News of his detention was first published by Yonhap News.

When asked about Son on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he was not aware of the case.

Neither Shandong Taishan nor the Liaoning Public Security Department immediately responded to requests for comment.

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