South Korean volleyball star Kim Yeon-koung on Friday accused her Korean professional team of reneging on a promise to keep their contract-related settlement confidential, a move that is keeping her from playing for a Turkish club.
Kim had signed a two-year contract with Fenerbahce in Turkey in July this year, one season after completing her first season there on a loan from her South Korean team, the Heungguk Life Pink Spiders.
The Korean club, however, argued that it still reserved rights to Kim because she hadn‘t yet earned the eligibility as a free agent, and that her signing with Fenerbahce violated local rules.
Under the rules by the Korean Volleyball Federation, a player must spend at least six seasons with a team to become a free agent.
Kim played four seasons in the South Korean league and two more in Japan on loan from Heungguk Life, before leaving for Turkey. The player’s side had argued that she had completed her six seasons, while the Korean team countered that she needed to play two more years in the local league.
With no end in sight to their disputes, the KOVO intervened and Kim and Heungguk Life reached a settlement on Sept. 7. Under the mediated settlement, Heungguk Life retains rights to Kim but still allows Kim to play for two years overseas on a loan, provided that she returns to the Korean team after those two years.
According to Kim, the two sides agreed to keep their settlement secret, while the International Volleyball Federation deliberated the case on her status.