Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, April 18, 2002
Soccer Referee Arrested on Charges of Taking Bribes
A Chinese soccer referee has been arrested on charges of taking bribes from the country's soccer league matches. Gong Jianping, one of several referees allegedly taking bribes, was formally arrested Wednesday after having been in police custody since March 16.
A Chinese soccer referee has been arrested on charges of taking bribes from the country's soccer league matches.
Gong Jianping, one of several referees allegedly taking bribes, was formally arrested Wednesday after having been in police custody since March 16.
The Beijing Xuanwu District Police Bureau applied on April 12 to the Xuanwu District People's Procuratorate for the arrest of Gong before Xuanwu chief prosecutor Jin Zhaoming endorsed the arrest five days later.
The arrest was made upon the charge that Gong took 20,000 yuan (2,410 U.S. dollars) from Zhejiang Lucheng, a Chinese second division league club, on April 21, 2001, when Lucheng hosted Tianjin Lifei in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
Gong was also found to have taken another 80,000 yuan (9,639 U. S. dollars) from Lucheng on July 7, 2001, when the club faced Xiamen Hongshi in Hangzhou.
Other allegations against Gong are being under investigation and he is to be prosecuted on charges of accepting bribes as a member of the corporation staff.
Gong had been the most severely punished Chinese soccer referee in 1999, when he was banned for six months by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) for "unsatisfactory refereeing". Nineteen other referees were also punished that year.
In March, 2000, Guangzhou Apollo club filed a formal complaint to the CFA on Gong's "three injustice decisions".
Gong was again the center of controversy when his unconvincing performance in a second division match led to a three-minute stop of the game between Lucheng and Zhongyuan on September 15, 2001.
Gong's credibility was challenged when the CFA announced early this year an initial 59-man referees list, which excluded Gong, for the year's first and second division soccer leagues.
Nationwide Attention Aroused
As the first soccer referee to be detained and now arrested, Gong has drawn attention nationwide.
When Gong was in custody, China set up a national sports supervision board, whose main task is to crack down the so-called "black whistle."
The board, whose establishment was endorsed by the country's State Council, is to ensure Chinese sports will go on healthy in course of China's sports entering market economy.
A CFA official reacted to Gong's case by saying "it's not the end of the world."
"This means the (investigation into) bribery scandal now has a result. We feel kind of relieved because people would always have doubt about us if Gong's case had not been settled," said the official who asked not to be named.
He explained that the CFA would not officially comment on it because it was "not yet time to do so".
"Although it is not yet decided whether he is guilty or not, his arrest would serve as a warning to those who did take bribes," he added.
Song Weiping, president of Zhejiang Lucheng and who first revealed the matter of "black whistle," said that Gong's arrest was not exactly what he wanted.
"Many factors lead to referees taking bribes. It is dirty, but Gong is also pitiful," said Song.
"I don't want to see too many of the referees being arrested," he added.