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November 12, 2009

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Shanghai soccer team fined in 2003 for bribes

THE Shanghai Shenhua Football Club was fined 800,000 yuan (US$117,121) in 2003 for offering bribes to referees, according to an internal document published recently by the country's top soccer administrator.

In a decision made by Chinese Football Association six years ago, six of the 15 top-division clubs, including the champion Dalian Shide, were internally disciplined with fines between 300,000 yuan and 800,000 yuan, the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported yesterday.

However, the CFA didn't publish the decision until a recent investigation by the Ministry of Public Security into soccer match-fixing.

Normally, a Chinese Super League club has a budget of 500,000 yuan every season in hosting referees, said a staff member from a domestic club.

According to the source, four referees usually spent 30,000 yuan for their two days' visit to the host city during a match.

They were treated by local football association officials but with all the expenses covered by the club of the host city.

"A club might also give referees cash, which was not included in the budget. Only the boss and general manager knew the accurate figure," the source added. The daily cap regulated by CFA for referees during a match was 5,600 yuan.

Each club was to pay the bill at the end of the season based on the standard for all the matches held in the city, with no extra expenses allowed.


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