Chinese courts jail football officials for match-fixing | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 13.06.2012
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Chinese courts jail football officials for match-fixing

China has continued its crackdown on corruption in soccer by jailing three ex-football association heads and several former national team players.

Dozens of former officials, players and referees have been sent to jail in a sweeping crackdown on match-fixing and gambling in China.

Nan Yong, former vice president of the China Football Association

The former vice president of the China Football Association was found guilty of accepting bribes

On Wednesday, courts in China's northeastern province of Liaoning sentenced several former football chiefs to 10 and a half years in jail after charging them with accepting bribes.

Nan Yong, a former Chinese Football Association chief, was found guilty of accepting 17 bribes totaling $235,000. His predecessor Xie Yalong was charged with accepting 12 bribes totaling $273,000.

Xie said he was tortured into confessing to more serious crimes than he had actually committed. The police in Liaoning rejected this allegation and denied employing physical abuse.

Xie Yalong

Xie Yalong has received 10 and a half years imprisonment

Meanwhile, a former national team manager, Wei Shaohui, was also sentenced to 10 and a half years in jail.

Seven other former national team players and officials were also sentenced by courts on Wednesday for taking bribes to fix a domestic game in 2003, bringing to at least 21 the number charged in similar or related cases this year.

Despite the high-profile sentences, the country's official Xinhua news agency said they marked "a comma rather than a full stop in the fight against match-fixing, gambling, bribery and embezzlement."

"It will take a long time to solve the problem because the current system is a hotbed for corruption," Chen Peide, a former provincial sports chief and long-time critic of corruption in football, was quoted as saying.

act/sb (dpa, AFP, AP)

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