Police investigate ex-top China football official

BY foxsports • September 12, 2010

Chinese police are investigating the former head of China's scandal-plagued football federation on suspicion of bribery and match fixing, a state news agency said Sunday.

The investigation into Xie Yalong, former head of the widely disparaged Chinese Football Association is part of a widening probe into gambling and match-fixing, the official Xinhua News Agency cited the Ministry of Public Security as saying.

The move is the latest in a push to rid the Chinese game of the taint of cheating and raise the level of play following complaints from top government officials.

Wei Shaohui, a former national team manager, and Li Dongsheng, the former head of the football association's referee commission are also under investigation, Xinhua said.

The investigation has so far netted more than a dozen players and officials, including Nan Yong, the association's former top official who replaced Xie in 2009. They were arrested on suspicion of bribing or threatening players and referees to determine the outcome of games they had bet on.

Football is widely popular in China, even though the men's national team is ranked No. 97 in the world.

Media reports in January said Chinese players paid large bribes for places at the national football team's training camp, and even bigger ones to play in international matches.

Calls to the Ministry of Public Security and the General Administration of Sport rang unanswered Sunday.

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