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Soccer betting probe nets another official

POLICE in eastern China have detained a football club manager in a nationwide crackdown on soccer betting that has involved several executives and officials from the football association.

The man, identified by police only as L, was detained yesterday, one year after he left Hai Li Feng soccer club in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Other club officials are also under investigation, according to Modern Express today.

Hai Li Feng came under the spotlight after a notorious match with a Sichuan team when the club's players attempted several times to score their own goals.

Police said, however, that they are not investigating that match but are focusing on an alleged gambling syndicate that operated in 2005 and 2006, said an anonymous insider quoted by the newspaper.

The insider said Hai Li Feng was considered the top team at the beginning of every season in China's Premier League, yet their performances collapse at the second half in every match.

China Football Association said any clubs involved in any forms of gambling will be relegated, China News Service reported today.


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