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K League announces 34 overseas broadcast partners for 2021, Paik Seung-ho transfer saga continues Updated: 2021-02-22 15:51:43 KST

Time now for 'This Week in Sports' and so joining us in the studio is our sports editor Paul Neat.
Paul, the new K League season kicks off this weekend and I understand that, once again, it will be broadcasted around the world?

Yes, the K League on Sunday confirmed that games will be aired in 34 overseas countries this season.
Large footballing markets like Germany, the UK and Eastern Europe remain on the list.
There are also three new countries added - the Philippines, Macau as well Indonesia…. who will air K League 1 and K League 2 games.
This comes after Ansan Greeners signed national team player Asnawi Mangkualam, the first ASEAN quota player.
Last year, K League reached new audiences as one of the first big leagues to restart amid the pandemic and the number of countries with overseas broadcasting rights even reached 43.
K League say that negotiations are ongoing to add to the current list of 34.

And one player who could be returning from overseas is Paik Seung-ho but I understand that there is something of a transfer tug-o-war going on between two K League clubs?

You are quite right. It first appeared as though Paik Seung-ho was heading to K League champions Jeonbuk but Suwon Bluewings believe they should have had first refusal.
Paik is leaving Darmstadt in Germany’s second tier and has held talks with Jeonbuk.
However, Suwon Bluewings feel that they should be first in line due to an agreement they have with the player.
Suwon supported Paik financially as he was adjusting to life in Barcelona’s academy around a decade ago… under the agreement that Paik would give Suwon priority if he was to move to K League.
It was reported over the weekend that, because Suwon are due compensation if the agreement is violated, the club have reached out to its legal team.
Paik was with Suwon as a schoolboy but moved to Barcelona in 2010 and is reported to have received around 3-hundred thousand U.S. dollars from Suwon over a three-year period.

Speaking of Korean internationals, yet more delays for the national team with another postponement for the March World Cup qualification matches?

Yes, Korea were due to take on Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka in March but these games will now be pushed back until June because of the pandemic.
This means that Korea will have to play four matches in June and so the AFC plans to designate a central location for each group to host all matches to minimize travel.
Teams are in the second round of qualifying which began in September 2019.
Following the winter break, the competition was set to resume in March 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a year of delays.
The third round of qualification is supposed to start in September this year.

And finally to tennis, an incredible ninth Australian Open win for Novak Djokovic?

Yes, a record ninth title for Djokovic on Sunday evening… and while carrying an injury.
Top seed Djokovic beat Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to claim his 18th Grand Slam leaving him two behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the men's record books.

In the women’s game, Japan’s Naomi Osaka on Saturday beat Jennifer Brady of the U.S. 6-4, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena to win the Australian Open.
Osaka, who beat Serena Williams in the semis, has now won two Australian Open titles after her victory at Melbourne Park in 2019.
She has also not suffered defeat since February last year extending her winning run to 21.

Thank-you for that, Paul. We shall see you next week.

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