match-fixing probe

Three arrests in probe into Chinese match-fixing

January 21, 2010

Three senior Chinese football officials have reportedly been taken in for questioning by police investigating claims of match-fixing and corruption in the country's domestic league.

Nan Yong and Yang Yimin, vice chairmen of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), and Chinese women's football chief Zhang Jianqiang have been summoned to help with an inquiry into the country's most popular sport, according to Xinhua news agency.

The CFA, which was unavailable for comment on Thursday, has been striving to clean up the image of its domestic league and over 20 officials, players and managers have been arrested over the last two months on suspicion of match fixing or gambling.

"With the full support from the sports department, the crackdown on manipulating domestic soccer matches through commercial bribery has showcased a firm attitude in fighting corruption and rectifying the soccer sector,'' a statement on Xinhua's official website from the Ministry of Public Security read. "The crackdown also gives us confidence and hope to revitalise the development of Chinese soccer.''

China president Hu Jintao, vice-president Xi Jinping and state councillor Liu Yandong have all recently made strong statements about the need to revitalise the domestic game, which has been dogged with allegations of corruption over the last few years.