Details of soccer referee investigation released to public

Updated: 2011-03-31 10:39
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China disclosed the details on Wednesday of corruption cases against three former Chinese soccer referees, including Lu Jun, who has been called China's best soccer referee in the past.

The three soccer referees, Lu Jun, Huang Junjie and Zhou Weixin, were arrested on charges of bribe taking last year.

Investigators suspect that Zhang Jianqiang, a former official with the China Football Association, asked Lu Jun to favor the Shanghai Shenhua team in its Nov 9, 2003, match against Shanghai International. They think Zhang promised that payments would go to Lu Jun and other referees if Shanghai Shenhua was victorious.

Shanghai International and Shanghai Shenhua were both favorites in the 2003 domestic league championship games. Before the match, the teams had attained top rankings in the league.

The match was broadcast live on television, making it difficult for the referees to throw favor to one side or the other. Even so, Lu Jun later confessed that he had given "emotional care" to Shenhua players by treating them more kindly.

Shanghai Shenhua overtook Shanghai International in the league rankings after a 4 to 1 victory in the match and went on to win the domestic league championship that year.

"Shanghai Shenhua later brought 700,000 yuan ($106,774) worth of payments to my office," Zhang Jianqiang confessed. "Lu and I each got 350,000 yuan."

Zhang was arrested in March 2010 over suspicions that he had fixed the match and taken bribes.

Lu was a referee in more than 200 matches in the domestic league throughout his career. He was also the first Chinese citizen to be a referee at the World Cup.

Details of the corruption cases against Huang Junjie and Zhou Weixin were also revealed on Wednesday. Both were found to have made unfair calls that affected match outcomes in return for promises of payments.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Details of soccer referee investigation released to public

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Details of soccer referee investigation released to public

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.