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December 14, 2009

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Manager aids police in soccer scandal

THE manager of Qingdao-based Hailifeng Football Club is now assisting police in their investigation of an alleged match-fixing and soccer betting scandal.

Wang Shouye is in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, to help the investigation after police already received assistance from Hailifeng's previous manager Zuo Wenqing.

The club's former team leader Liu Hongwei has been detained.

The investigation was triggered by a police raid that seized a soccer-betting syndicate based in Shenyang.

"It's just the beginning," said Nan Yong, chairman of the Chinese Football Association .

Hailifeng, a First Division team, lost key matches to Guangzhou Pharmaceutical FC and the Chengdu Blades in the eighth and ninth rounds of the 2006 season even though it was at the top of the standings after seven rounds.

In the second half that year, the team lost almost all its games, including a 4-0 loss to Yanbian FC.

Some club officials from the Guangzhou, Chengdu and Yanbian teams have either been arrested or are under investigation.

The First Division is China's second-tier league.

According to previous media reports, Hailifeng has played seven years in the second-tier league and that its performances have been confusing for years.

The club has always been considered one of the top teams to start the year, yet its performances routinely sour as the games progress.


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