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February 12, 2011

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Corruption probe soccer stars back home

TWO former Shanghai soccer stars detained by police during a nationwide soccer corruption crackdown were reported to have returned home for the Spring Festival holiday.

G-Sport reported in its newscast last night that Shen Si came back to Shanghai from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, on January 30.

Meanwhile, Qi Hong was also back in town, revealed the Xinmin Evening News. "Yes, I'm back and I spent the Chinese New Year at home," Qi told the newspaper yesterday.

"I haven't thought about future. I just want to take a break and stay with my family."

"I don't want to talk much about it and they don't allow me to," Qi told the newspaper. "I am out. What else do I have to clarify?"

Shen, 37, and Qi, 34, who played in midfield for Shanghai International Football Club and became coaches after retiring, were detained by Liaoning Province police last October.

Lou Shifang, former manager of the Shanghai Shenhua Football Club, was also taken in by police and is still out of contact.

Shen and Qi played in the final game of the 02/03 Chinese first division soccer league in a controversial match between Shanghai International and Tianjin Taida. Taida beat title challengers International and remained in the top flight.

This is the first time Shanghai players have been connected to the scandal. Nationwide, 24 officials, coaches, referees and players have been investigated.


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