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Goalie netted in football betting scandal

A REITRED Chinese goalkeeper has dived back into the spotlight as police seized him while investigating his involvement in the nationwide crackdown on football betting.

Yan Yi, who was dubbed the best goalkeeper in central China in the 1990s, was taken on November 16 by police from a hotel room in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, to assist the inquiry, Chutian Jin Bao reported today.

The 38-year-old goalie was the second former top soccer player to be investigated by police. Yan is alleged to be involved with Wang Po, then general manager of the Shaanxi Guoli Football Club and a notorious kingpin of football betting, according to insiders.

Yan transferred to Guoli club from his former Wuhan club in 2004 and stunned viewers with his flawless performance in his first match. Yet his performance slipped when he hooked up with his new boss Wang.

He left Guoli club one year later as he claimed the club has no money to pay for players' salaries. Yan told a press conference in 2005 that the club owned him 1.5 million yuan (US$2.19 million).


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