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China Daily Website

High-profile former soccer stars arrested

Updated: 2012-03-24 07:49
By Tang Zhe ( China Daily)

High-profile former soccer stars arrested

Ex-players alleged to have accepted 8 million yuan to fix game in 2003

Former Chinese national team players Jiang Jin, Shen Si, Qi Hong and Li Ming were reportedly arrested by police on Friday for accepting bribes in a first-division match in 2003.

According to Chinese paper Today Morning Express, the four are alleged to have accepted a total of 8 million yuan ($1.26 million) for fixing the result of a last-round game between Shanghai International and Tianjin Teda in 2003. International was expected to claim the league title with a win, but lost to Tianjin, 2-1, which saved Teda from relegation.

Jiang, Qi and Shen, who played the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and at the finals in South Korea and Japan, had been detained by the police for nearly four months in October 2010, and were released on bail in February 2011. Li gave himself up to the police last August.

A considerable number of renowned referees, players, clubs and officials from the Chinese Football Association have been snared in a crackdown on soccer gambling and match-fixing, which started in September, 2009.

"Golden Whistle" Lu Jun, once regarded as the nation's top referee and the only one to officiate at a World Cup, was sentenced last month to 5 years and 6 months for accepting 810,000 yuan ($129,000) in bribes from 1999 to 2003.

Other bribe-taking referees, including Huang Junjie, Wan Daxue and Zhou Weixin, received sentences from 3 1/2 to 7 years in a court in Dandong, Liaoning province.

Yang Yimin, a former CFA vice-president, was sentenced to 10 years and had personal property worth 200,000 yuan and illegal income of 1.25 million yuan confiscated.

Yang's successors, Nan Yong and Xie Yalong, are expected to stand trial next month on corruption charges, which will mark the end of the 2 1/2-year crackdown, according to the Legal Evening News. The two big fish are believed to have taken millions in bribes during their tenures and could face possible prison terms of more than 10 years under Chinese law.

After the crackdown, the CFA made some dramatic changes to its system, disciplinary rules and regulations. A number of CFA staff has been changed and the decision-making mechanisms and financial control of the professional leagues have become more transparent and democratic.


Li Ming refers to the former Shanghai International defender and not the Dalian Aerbin manager and former national team midfielder of the same name.

Shanghai International moved to Xi'an and changed its name to Shaanxi Chanba in 2006. The club moved to Guizhou this year and is now called Guizhou Renhe.



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