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January 28, 2010

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Detention for top soccer officials; fix details told

POLICE yesterday announced the detention of three former top officials of the Chinese Football Association and released the details of a fixed match in 2006 as their latest move in a nationwide crackdown on match-fixing and soccer betting.

Former CFA vice chairmen Nan Yong and Yang Yimin, as well as former referee director Zhang Jianqiang, were detained on suspicion of wrongdoing, the Ministry of Public Security said, without giving details of the accusations against them.

The detention increases the likelihood the three, who were summoned by police last week, will be formally arrested, indicted and put on trial.

Nan and Yang have been removed from their jobs. Zhang, who used to run CFA's department for referees, was director of women's football when he was summoned.

The ministry also published the inside dealings behind a match in 2006 between two Chinese League One teams: Guangzhou Pharmacy and Zhejiang Greentown. League One is the country's second division.

The Guangzhou team wished to fix the score, because the winner was to be upgraded to the top division Chinese Super League.

Yang Xu, then vice general manager of Guangzhou Pharmacy, called his close friend, Fan Guangming, for help. Fan was then a CFA league department official.

According to the police investigation, Fan contacted Leng Bo, then manager of Qingdao Jonoon FC's U19 team.

Leng found Greentown's strongest player, Shen Liuxi, through Xing Rui, former captain of Shandong Luneng.

Shen agreed to a deal of 800,000 yuan (US$117,198) with Xing. Xing demanded 1 million yuan from Leng. The final price between Fan and Yang was 1.5 million yuan.

Leng, Xing and Fan arrived in Guangzhou before the match and were told the 1.5 million yuan in cash was ready.

Shen, assisted by some of his teammates, lost the game to Guangzhou Pharmacy, by the score 2-3.

The four divided the cash immediately after the match. Fan and Leng took 250,000 yuan, respectively.

Xing took 200,000 yuan, but was also given 30,000 yuan from Shen; he borrowed another 100,000 yuan from Shen with an excuse that his mother was ill. Shen himself took 670,000 yuan from the match, said police.

The four plus Yang Xu were on suspicion of commercial bribery, police added.

Meanwhile, Oriental Morning Post reported that Chinese players paid large bribes for places at the national football team's training camp, and even bigger ones to play in international matches.

According to the newspaper, a single trip to the national youth squad's camp cost 80,000 yuan, while a place at the adult team's camp was 100,000 yuan.

A call-up to an actual official match required a bribe of 200,000 yuan, the paper said this week.


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