• Kyodo

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The J. League said on Tuesday it will launch its own investigation over alleged abuse of power by Sagan Tosu manager Kim Myung-hwi toward his players.

An anonymous accusation was made in late August to the Japan Football Association’s consultation desk for stamping out violence, accusing Kim of continuous violence and the use of abusive language.

The investigation is expected to take place for around two months with those involved in the case to be interviewed by the league.

The 40-year-old Kim was suspended by his club in June for three matches after he swept a player’s foot and floored him during practice.

Sagan set up a third-party panel to investigate the matter before deciding no further punishment was necessary, allowing Kim to return to manage the team on Aug. 14.

But the accusation indicated that Kim’s abuse of power had been taking place also before the incident that resulted in his suspension, adding the club’s investigation was insufficient.

It is the second time the league has launched its own probe into alleged power harassment, after fellow South Korean manager Cho Kwi-jae, then at Shonan Bellmare, was investigated and the charge confirmed in 2019.

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