Police detain more in soccer corruption crackdown

13:17, January 17, 2011      

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Chinese police have detained two leaders of a soccer team in the Chinese Super League (CSL) club, in a large-scale crackdown on match-fixing and gambling.

The Ministry of Public Security said Friday that You Kewei and Xu Hongtao, deputy general manager and board chairman, respectively, of the Chengdu Blade in the CSL club, China's top flight division, was found "manipulating domestic soccer matches through commercial bribery."

Before a First Division league match in the coastal city of Qingdao in 2007, You and Xu met with Liu Hongwei, leader of the opponent team, the Qingdao Hailifeng, the ministry said.
Both sides agreed to manipulate the match on condition of "hundreds of thousands of yuan in cash and free use of the Chengdu team's training base for a month of winter training," so as to "help" the Chengdu Blade's promotion from the second tier league to the top flight.

As was planned, Chengdu Blade finally beat the Qingdao team two to zero in the match.

It was very difficult to obtain evidence and seize the suspects as "it has been long since the match-fixing occurred and the suspects are intimately colluded with each other," investigators said.

The ministry said Liu, together with at least two more suspects relating to the scandal, was currently under police custody.

Last month, the police detained at least four people on suspicion of match-fixing and gambling in a nationwide crackdown on soccer corruption.

Source:China Daily/Xinhua
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