24th of April 2012 Author: Glo Wood
The former chief of Chinese soccer prepares to stand trial as he goes against accusations of taking bribes. Xie Yalong, the former director of the Football Administrative Centre, is the highest-ranking official to be put on trial in the anti-graft campaign that was put into action more than two years ago.
Yalong's case was heard this morning at the court in the northeastern province of China where another top official, Yu Shaohui, is on trial facing charges as well. The ruling is expected to be handed down later today. Other officials involved are scheduled for trial in the coming day at two other local courts.
Scandals have surrounded Chinese soccer for years. Stories of fixed matches and violence, on and off the pitch, have prevented local people from becoming supportive fans.
Back in February, two prominent figures within the Chinese football league were sentenced to hefty jail terms due to their bribery and match-fixing ways. Again, Yalong is a higher ranking official. If convicted, he will face hard time as well.
Lu Jun, a former World Cup match official previously named as China's "Golden Whistle" and four referees were already sentenced to up to seven years in jail on Thursday. They too were found guilty of being involved in corruption surrounding the sport.
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