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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Soccer chief admits accepting payments

By Mo Ting (Global Times)

16:07, December 26, 2011

Xie Yalong, the detained former deputy chairman of Chinese Football Association (CFA), Sunday admitted breaking the law in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) but did not believe he was a corrupt official.

The campaign to purge Chinese soccer of corruption on Friday saw the opening of a five-day trial in Dandong Intermediate People's Court and Tieling Intermediate People's Court, both in Liaoning Province. High-ranking CFA officials as well as some renowned soccer referees were accused of taking bribes and fixing matches.

Xie and his successor Nan Yong did not stand trial last week pending further investigations, according to the Beijing News on Saturday. But both admitted to CCTV that they could not resist the temptation of cash payments.

Xie assumed his post in 2005 and was tasked with eradicating corruption. At the time, Chinese soccer was blighted by match-fixing and bribery that arose from gambling, according to CCTV.

Xie also claimed in the interview that he was not a mediocre official because he could do well in other positions. He claimed to have been corrupted by the Chinese soccer environment.

Xie insisted he had not traded his position of power for money but instead had simply maintained contacts. He said he had no choice but to take money from football clubs because it was an expression of their gratitude.

Nan, who became CFA deputy chairman in 2009 with the aim of cracking down on corruption in Chinese soccer, also received gratitude payments from football clubs during his tenure. Nan told CCTV that he received many forms of bribery such as cash hidden in the cigarette cases and mooncake boxes.

Xie and Nan will stand trial in February next year, according to Xinhua.

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