Authority commits to go deep in soccer corruption crackdown

Updated: 2012-04-26 06:44


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BEIJING - China's sports authority Wednesday released a statement to take commitment of fighting hard against corruption and rooting it out.

As courts in northeastern Liaoning province opened the second round of trials against the highest-ranking soccer officials yet charged, Xie Yalong and Nan Yong, a crackdown on corruption in Chinese soccer neared its end game.

"The crackdown on soccer graft shows that the country's actions against corruption are in firm hands," read the statement made by the Mass Sports Department of the State General Administration of Sports late on Wednesday.

"Not only officials from the Chinese Football Association, but all staff on general sports posts are deeply touched," it said.

"We've all seen clearly that it's necessary, for the sake of healthy development of the Chinese soccer as well as on other aspects, to take major efforts on continued actions against corruption."

The sports authority said they've kept close contact with China's judiciary in cooperating on the soccer corruption crackdown, while taking the initiative to make internal clearing out.

"We are working on the completing of league system, trying to make it managed under professional criteria," said the statement.

"We keep updating the rules and regulations on training and selecting referees, officials and national squads."

"Also we emphasize on supervision over ourselves, making it a standing mechanism."

With the ever widening crackdown on soccer corruption beginning in 2010, dozens of CFA club officials, referees and players were arrested on charges of match-fixing, gambling and bribe-taking.

On Wednesday, former Chinese soccer chief Nan Yong went on trial in Tieling, a day after court proceedings opened against his predecessor Xie Yalong in Dandong.

Nan, credited with leading China into their only World Cup finals, has been charged with 17 counts of taking bribes worth 1.48 million yuan ($235,000), while Xie was accused of accepting bribes totalling more than 1.7 million yuan ($273,000).

Li Dongsheng, former head of the Chinese Football Association's referees committee, was indicted in Dandong on Wednesday with 30 counts of bribe-taking worth over 790,000 yuan ($125,400) and 11 counts of embezzlement worth 60,000 yuan ($9,530).

Also on Wednesday, four former Chinese national team players Qi Hong, Jiang Jin, Shen Si and Li Ming faced trials in Shenyang, Liaoning's provincial capital, being accused of taking bribes to fix a 2003 Chinese league game.

In February, the CFA's ex-deputy chief Yang Yimin was convicted of accepting bribes worth 1.25 million yuan from about 20 clubs to fix fitness test results and sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison.

Zhang Jianqiang, the former director of the association's referee committee, received a 12-year jail term for taking bribes worth a total of 2.73 million yuan on 24 occasions.