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November 9, 2009

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Soccer officials face match-fixing inquiry

THE former secretary general of the Guangzhou Football Association and five others have been detained for their alleged involvement in manipulating domestic matches after they helped police inquiries into a suspected soccer-betting syndicate.

Yang Xu allegedly offered bribes to Wang Po, then general manager of the Shanxi Luhu Football Club, for a 5 to 1 win in 2006 in Guangzhou when he acted as vice general manager of the host Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Football Club, Beijing Youth Daily reported yesterday.

Yang and his former colleague Wu Xiaodong, also Guangzhou Pharmaceutical's vice general manager, and four others were taken away by police from Guangzhou to Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, about 10 days ago.

Liaoning police are now in charge of the case as Wang was caught in Shenyang.

The former chairman of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical surnamed Xie also flew to Shenyang to assist the police investigation.

Players probed

Players, managers and club executives from Liaoning were also major targets. Nearly 70 people in Liaoning's Dalian City were questioned by police over the case.

Meanwhile, a staff member of the Chinese Football Association has also been put under investigation while more people including sports officials, soccer club executives and players have faced police questioning.

Fan Guangming, an official mainly in charge of commercials at the CFA, was taken away by police in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.

Fan had organized domestic soccer teams, including one from Liaoning, to play in Singapore but those teams were involved in soccer-betting scandals in the island state.

Wang Xin, the leader of the Liaoning team's trip to Singapore, was found guilty of soccer-betting in Singapore and is assisting Liaoning police in their probe.

Some football officials in southwestern China's Sichuan Province have also been questioned by police as the investigation widens across the country, according to Liaoshen Evening News.


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