Sunderland’s official statement over Ji Dong-won affair

Ji Dong-won in action against MK Dons at the start of the season.
Ji Dong-won in action against MK Dons at the start of the season.

SUNDERLAND insist there have been no complaints from any of their Premier League peers over Ji Dong-won’s failure to secure international clearance before representing the Black Cats earlier this season.

News emerged yesterday that five of Ji’s appearances for Sunderland this season came when the South Korean striker did not have the appropriate paperwork after returning to Wearside from his loan spell at German side Augsburg.

It is understood that one of the FIFA forms that needed to be completed was missing and Sunderland alerted the Premier League over the error when they discovered the problem.

Ji had already been registered with the Premier League in Sunderland’s squad at the start of the season.

Sunderland accepted a fine over the technical error, with the Premier League opting not to exercise the right to inflict a points penalty on the Black Cats.

And while there has been speculation over how Sunderland’s top flight rivals will react to the news, the club today issued a statement insisting the matter has been clarified.

“The issue of Ji Dong won was explained in detail at today’s Premier League shareholders meeting and no issues were raised by any club,” said Sunderland.

“Sunderland AFC confirmed that they had complied with all procedures and the Premier League stated that the player was duly registered on the extranet system and in all other Premier League mechanisms.

“The club has never accepted any wrongdoing, but did acknowledge that a technical fault occurred and as such were fined by the Premier League accordingly in December.

“The matter is now closed.”

MK Dons, who Sunderland beat in the Capital One Cup second round with Ji in the side, have also accepted the explanation of events.

“The Club acknowledges that the Football League board dealt with the situation as they saw fit and will not be pursuing the matter further,” said the League One side.