Former Chinese Soccer President Sentenced To Life In Prison For Taking Bribes

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Former Chinese Football Association president Chen Xuyuan

The former president of the Chinese Football Association, Chen Xuyuan, who admitted receiving large bribes, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The former president of the Chinese Football Association between 2019 and 2023 will spend the rest of his life in prison as part of the vast anti-corruption campaign targeting soccer in the country. based on what the state media reported on Tuesday. Chen Xuyuan took advantage of his position to “illegally accept sums of money from other people totaling 81.03 million yuan” (around $11.2 million) according to People’s Daily. A court in Hubei province therefore sentenced him to “life imprisonment for accepting bribes, forfeiture of his political rights for life and confiscation of all his personal property”.

Further verdicts are expected

The trial of the 67-year-old ex-leader took place against a gloomy backdrop for Chinese soccer, with a weak national team, eliminated without glory from the Asian Cup and an image of the sport plagued by malfeasance. President Xi Jinping, himself a soccer fan, had great ambitions for the national team. But the squad, often mocked by the Chinese, remains stuck in 79th place in the FIFA rankings, more or less where it was ten years ago.

This conviction is part of a major anti-corruption campaign initiated by Xi Jinping a decade ago. In all, a dozen top Chinese soccer officials have been dismissed for corruption. The former general manager of the Chinese Super League (CSL), Dong Zheng, was sentenced to eight years in prison. Further verdicts are expected. These could include former China coach Li Tie, who has been under investigation for corruption since 2022 and is currently on remand. A former Everton player, he admitted to helping to buy several matches that enabled the second-division Chinese teams he managed to reach the elite before having Wuhan Zall, the club he coached, pay Chen Xuyuan two million yuan (255,000 euros) in bribes to secure his position as coach.

This post is originally from L’Équipe