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South Korean footballer released from detention in China

South Korean international footballer Son Jun-ho, who was detained by Chinese authorities in connection with a bribery case, has been released and returned home, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

The World Cup midfielder was detained in northeast China last May “on suspicion of accepting bribes by non-state employees”, the Chinese government said at the time, without providing further details.

Son “recently arrived in South Korea as his detention ended” after 10 months, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement Monday.

The government has provided “active legal assistance through close communication with Son’s family”, it added.

The Korea Football Association confirmed Son’s release, saying the 31-year-old footballer had returned on Monday.

Son played for Shandong Taishan football club in the Chinese Super League since 2021 and appeared in three of South Korea’s four matches during last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

His arrest came after a slew of corruption probes by the Chinese authorities targeting the head of China’s football governing body and other top officials.

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