Former soccer stars and bosses jailed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2012, 12:00am

Two former soccer bosses were each handed 10 1/2 years in prison for corruption and eight other big names in the sport, including former players in the national team, were also punished for graft yesterday.

Former Chinese Football Association (CFA) vice-chairman Nan Yong was charged with 17 counts of taking bribes worth more than 1.19 million yuan between 1999 and 2009.

Another former CFA vice-chairman, Xie Yalong , who was in office from 2005 to 2009, was charged with 12 counts of accepting advantages in excess of 1.7 million yuan. Xie, 57, denied some of the charges and told a Dandong court in April that his confession had been extracted through torture.

Both men were also ordered to pay 200,000 yuan in fines.

Xie's lawyer said after a hearing on April 24 that his client had been subjected to various forms of torture - including electric shocks, slaps to the face and sleep deprivation. Police denied the allegations.

Nan, 50, had earlier pleaded guilty at a court in Tieling, Liaoning province, and his lawyer said that his client was considering appealing the recent verdict.

Nan, who was in charge of all the men's national teams and domestic leagues, was arrested in 2010 and accused of paying off referees in the country's top league. He admitted selling spots on the national team to players for 100,000 yuan when he was chef de mission of China's World Cup squad in 2002, when he led the team to its first World Cup final.

At a Shenyang court, four former national team members - Shen Si, Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming - were sentenced to up to six years and fined 500,000 yuan each for taking bribes to help fix the result of a domestic league game. A total of 8 million yuan in bribes the four players received will be confiscated, the court said.

Alongside Xie, the Dandong court also sentenced Wei Shaohui, a former national men's soccer team manager, to 10 1/2 years in jail and fined 200,000 yuan for taking bribes.

Li Dongsheng, a former director of the Chinese Football Association's technical department, received nine years' jail and a 100,000 yuan fine. About 850,000 yuan in illegal gains he had amassed was ordered forfeit.

Two local association and team officials were given suspended sentences for paying bribes. Chen Hong, a former general manager of the Chongqing Lifan soccer club, and Gao Jian, the former general secretary of the Chongqing Football Association, were given two-year suspended jail terms.

Earlier trials of other soccer officials had resulted in jail sentences of up to 12 years. Another former deputy head of the CFA, Yang Yimin , along with Zhang Jianqiang, a former director of the CFA's referee committee and a former head of women's soccer, were arrested in 2010 and sentenced in February. Yang received 10 1/2 years and was fined 200,000 yuan for accepting 1.25 million yuan in bribes and for match-fixing, while Zhang, got 12 years for taking 2.73 million yuan in bribes.


The combined worth of bribes, in yuan, of seven top sports officials who were convicted yesterday of corruption