South Korean international striker Ui-Jo Hwang joined Norwich City on a season long loan from Notts Forest on 1st September 2023 after Norwich forward Josh Sargent was injured.
Hwang hails from Seongnam in South Korea’s Gyeonggi province, where he began his senior career with Seongnam FC in 2013 after progressing through their youth ranks, via a spell at Yonsei University. In 2015 he made his debut for the South Korean national side. After playing in the Asian Champions League, with Hwang scoring three goals, the side underperformed the following season and finished 11th, and were relegated via the play-offs.
In June 2017 Hwang moved to Japanese side Gamba Osaka where he was top scorer with 21 goals and selected for the league's best XI. He totalled 31 goals in 71 games for Osaka. He was named as the Korean FA Player of the Year in 2018 after performances in the Asian Games for the national team and in the J1 League with Gamba Osaka
He moved to French side Bordeaux on 15th July 2019 where he was initially used as a winger. He scored 29 goals in 98 appearances.
He moved to Notts Forest on 26th August 2022 but was loaned to Greek side Olympiacos but the loan was terminated when he failed to score. In February 2023 he returned to South Korea joining FC Seoul on loan.
At the time of his move to Norwich, he had played 57 games for South Korea including four at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as they reached the quarter-rinals. He also played as South Korea won the 2018 Asian Games and was an over-age player for South Korea in the 2020 Olympic football tournament..His first international goal was against Jamaica in October 2015.
He made his Norwich debut on 16th September 2023 as substitute for Adam Idah in the 1-0 home win over Stoke. His first start in yellow and green was the humiliating 6-2 defeat at Plymouth on 23rd September 2023.
He scored his first Norwich goal in the 3-1 defeat to Sunderland on 28th October 2023.
A combination of injury, Josh Sargent's return from injury and a sex scandal in South Korea saw Hwang returned to Notts Forest on 10th January 2024. He had played 18 games, scoring three goals.
Hwang was suspended from the Korean national team in November 2023 until the end of an ongoing investigation into allegations that he illegally filmed sex videos without his partners' consent.
The investigation stems from an Instagram post in June last year shared by an unidentified individual who claimed to be an ex-lover of Hwang. The person posted a video in which a naked man was with a woman and claimed the man was Hwang.
She also accused Hwang of filming sexual encounters without consent and having sexual relationships with multiple women at the same time. Hwang denied the allegations later that month and sued for defamation and blackmail.
The police arrested the individual on November 16th 2023 on charges of blackmail. It was later revealed that the arrested person was Hwang’s sister-in-law.
The case took a turn in late November, when police analyzed the leaked footage and summoned Hwang for questioning on suspicion of filming the videos without consent. Hwang appeared before the police on November 18th 2023, and the investigation remains ongoing.
Hwang was suspended from the Korean national team on November 28th 2023, leaving him out of the Korean squad for the 2024 Asian Cup, where he would likely have been Korea’s starting striker.
Hwang's loan at Carrow Road was cut short in January 2024 owing to a hamstring injury that head coach David Wagner said would rule him out of action for six weeks. He subsequently returned to Forest to continue his treatment.
On 6th February 2024 he was loaned to Turkish side Alanyaspor until the end of the season. Alanyaspor president Hasan Cavusoglu said: "He is also one of the team captains of the South Korean National Team. We believe that it will be beneficial to our club. Our scouting team was following him. About two years ago, his transfer was not possible because the costs were too high for our club. I had the chance to transfer him on loan for the second half of the league this season." Former Norwich midfielder Leroy Fer also plays for Alanyaspor.