SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — In this year’s K League 1, South Korea’s top professional football competition, controversy over ball boys and girls deliberately engaging in acts to delay the football match are expected to dissipate as they will no longer be delivering balls to the players directly.
The Korea Professional Football League (K League) announced Wednesday that the new season, starting on Feb. 19, will instead require ball boys and girls to place the ball on top of a small cone-shaped prop, 12 of which are placed around touchlines and end lines.
The players will then take the ball from the cone.
When the ball passes over the touchline or an end line, the players will pick up a new ball from the nearest cone, while ball boys and girls retrieve the ball out of play and place it on an empty cone.
During the second leg of promotion-relegation playoffs between Gangwon FC of the K League 1 and Daejeon Hana Citizen of the K League 2 in December last year, ball boys began to throw the balls in a wrong direction or decided not to deliver the balls at all as Gangwon FC, the home team, had a 3-1 lead.
Gangwon FC won the match, avoiding relegation from K League 1.
However, the ball boy incident soon sparked a controversy, which resulted in the club paying a 30 million won (US$25,070) fine.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)