File photo of Wei Di. [sina.com.cn]
A new chief has been appointed to the Chinese Football Association (CFA) as the clampdown on gambling and match-fixing in the country's professional game continues, the General Administration of Sport of China (GACS) announced in Beijing on Friday morning, according to local media.
Wei Di, the former director of the China Water Sports Administrative Center under the GACS, was unveiled as the new head of the CFA, sina.com.cn said.
"China's soccer is facing a problem that would occur in the course of development. I'm confident that I could settle it with your help," Wei said as he took office Friday.
Nan Yong, the former head, and Yang Yimin, one of the vice presidents, were removed from their positions Friday.
They had both been taken for questioning, a statement from the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said Thursday.
"These people and their acts have tainted the image of the CFA, put Chinese soccer into jeopardy and hurt the fans' feelings," said Cui Dalin, deputy director of the GASC, "We firmly support the police efforts and are determined to punish any corruption or wrongdoing."
At least 21 officials, players and club managers have been arrested or detained in the past two months on suspicion of match-fixing or gambling, which is illegal in China.
"They (Nan Yong and Yang Yimin) could face the maximum penalty of death sentence if the charges against them are confirmed," Sun Yu, a lawyer and guest professor at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, was quoted as saying by Chongqing Evening News.