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Two soccer Super League clubs punished for match-fixing

2010-02-23 08:20 BJT

Two Super League clubs have been demoted to the second tier, and a Class-A Chinese football club has been dismissed, after their managers were found guilty of manipulating the matches and gambling. Before the announcement of the penalty, the scandals had already toppled the head of the country's football association.

The Chinese Football Association disciplinary committee decided to relegate Guangzhou GPC and the Chengdu Blades to Class A games and revoke the license of Qingdao Hailifeng football club, as well as slap the club with a fine of 200 thousand yuan.

Police launched a probe into match-fixing and gambling at the end of 2009. Further investigation has revealed the three teams were deeply involved in the scandal. Beside manipulating matches, they allegedly bribed referees and players to fix places at the national team's training camp and opportunities to play in higher-tier games.

The unprecedented campaign to fix China's ailing football industry has seen more than 20 officials arrested or detained, including the CFA's former chief Nan Yong. Nan's successor Wei Di, has sworn to solve the problem once and for all, but faces hurdles including a lack of transparency, bureaucratic management and routine illicit cooperation between coaches, players and gambling syndicates.

The CFA says 16 teams will still play in the new Chinese Super League season, but replacements have yet to be named. The new season will begin March 20th, but might be disrupted by ongoing police investigations.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: