China’s former soccer chiefs stand trial for graft

April 24th, 2012 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Dandong(Liaoning Province) April 24 (IANS) Former Chinese Football Association (CFA) chief Xie Yalong stood trial in a northeastern Chinese court Tuesday for taking bribes.

The Dandong Intermediate People’s Court started the trial of the 56-year-old Xie, who had been the CFA chief for three years before handing the job to Nan Yong.

Nan will also stand trial on bribe-taking charges in a different court in Liaoning Province Wednesday.

Xie and Nan are the highest ranking officials caught in China’s ever-widening crackdown on soccer corruption, which has brought down dozens of high-ranking soccer officials, referees and players.

Four former Chinese internationals — Shen Si, Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming — will be tried on bribe-taking charges Wednesday in Shenyang, Liaoning’s provincial capital.

The Dandong court Tuesday also opened trials of Wei Shaohui, former manager of the Chinese national soccer team, and Li Dongsheng, former head of the CFA’s referee committee.

In February this year, 39 people were handed sentences ranging from no time to 12 years behind bars in the first round of China’s crackdown on soccer corruption.

China’s professional soccer leagues have been plagued with allegations of gambling, match-fixing and corrupt refereeing for years, and the police launched a probe in 2009.

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