China jails football chief for bribery

13 June 2012 06:17

China's former football chief was Wednesday jailed for over 10 years for bribery while four players were given shorter prison terms, state media said, after a sweeping crackdown on corruption in the game.

A court in the northeastern Liaoning province sentenced the former head of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), Nan Yong, to 10 years and six months for taking bribes worth 1.48 million yuan ($235,000) the official Xinhua news agency said.

The sentencing followed a trial in April.

Four former national team players were sentenced by a separate court in the province to jail terms of up to six years for fixing domestic matches for a total of 8.0 million yuan in bribes, Xinhua said.

Shen Si was sentenced to six years in jail and fined 500,000 yuan, while Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming each received five-and-half year sentences and fines of 500,000 yuan, it said.

The sentences mark the culmination of a campaign to root out entrenched graft in the Chinese game that has ensnared dozens of CFA and club officials, referees, and players accused of match-fixing, gambling and other crimes.

Nan's predecessor, Xie Yalong, is awaiting sentencing after he was accused of taking 1.72 million yuan in bribes, Xinhua said.

Exposed two years ago, the scandal has combined with the national squad's poor performance to repel Chinese fans, undermining the popularity of the domestic game in the world's most populous country.

Source: AFP

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