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February 1, 2010

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CSL boss takes leave of absence

THE general manager of the Chinese Super League has taken a leave of absence following the detention of three former top officials of the Chinese Football Association, his colleagues confirmed.

"General Manager Lu Feng cannot be reached at the moment," a source in the association told Xinmin Evening News on Saturday.

According to CSL staff, no one has been able to contact Lu since Friday afternoon, which was similar to the "sudden disappearance" of Chinese Football Association vice chairmen Nan Yong and Yang Yimin.

Later it was found that police had detained both Nan and Yang.

Lu was hired as CSL general manager in 2006 during Nan's tenure as the league's chairman. He was considered part of Nan's "clique" because the former CFA vice chairman was behind every promotion given to Lu since 2001, according to Xinmin Evening News.

Lu won sponsorships for the league in three consecutive seasons from 2007.

He was considered Nan's agent in the sponsorship negotiations and gave an average rebate worth 20 percent of the total contract value, the newspaper said.

Nan was seized with a debit card worth 6 million yuan (US$878,892), earlier media reports said.

Almost the same time, former Zhejiang Greentown player Hu Minghua was wanted by Liaoning police for allegedly assisting his teammate in fixing a match in 2006.

Police said they would give 500 yuan to anyone providing tips that lead to the arrest of Hu Minghua.

Hu played in a match between Zhejiang Greentown and Guangzhou Pharmacy. He and teammate Shen Liuxi are suspected of throwing the game in which Guangzhou won 3-2.

Reports said Shen was given 670,000 yuan for fixing the match. Hu was supposedly given a cut of the money paid to Shen.

Hu went to Myanmar after Shen was taken into custody.

Details of the match-fixing scandal were released by police last week.

The Ministry of Public Security is heading a nationwide investigation over match fixing in soccer.

The probe was triggered by the seizure of a soccer betting syndicate based in Shenyang, Liaoning's capital, late last year.


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