Soccer player Ki Sung-yueng sues former teammates who accused him of childhood sexual abuse

Ki Sung-yueng

South Korean soccer player Ki Sung-yueng has filed a Defamation lawsuit against two former partners who recently accused him of sexually abusing them in childhood, as his legal representation announced today.

The 32-year-old midfielder who played for several European clubs such as Mallorca, Celtic or Swansea, demands compensation of 500 million won (about 371,000 euros) for what he considers a defamation on the part of the two ex-footballers, according to his lawyer, Song Sang-yeop, explained today at a press conference.

The lawsuit has been filed in a Seoul Central District court, Yonhap news agency reported.

On February 24, the two former footballers, who have remained anonymous, stated in writing that they had suffered sexual abuse and assault in 2000 by two other players that they took a year off at the academy where they lived in the province of South Jeolla (south-west of the country).

The statement did not mention the name of the alleged abusers but did indicate that one of them is “a star player who has recently signed for a club in the capital region.”

That description pointed the spotlight at Ki, who was at the aforementioned academy, is one year older than the complainants and has just signed a contract with FC Seoul in the South Korean capital.

Ki, Former South Korean national team captain, has since rejected the accusations and his lawyer requested that evidence be presented regarding these alleged abuses, to which the two alleged victims replied that they would do so only if Ki sued them and took the matter to court.

The case has not seemed to affect the performance of Ki at all, a player who has not been lavish when it comes to scoring goals in his career but who has scored consecutively in the last three rounds of the South Korean K-League, where his role as FC Seoul’s new captain has helped put the team second in the table.

Ki’s case comes at a time when South Korea is experiencing a barrage of allegations of abuse and harassment -which are considered very widespread in South Korean educational centers- committed in adolescence and childhood by renowned athletes and even actors and stars of K-Pop music.

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