Former Chief of China’s Football Association Sentenced to Life in Prison for Bribery

Chen Xuyuan, the former chief of China’s national football association, has been sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes, marking the conclusion of a significant anticorruption probe involving top football officials in China. The court in central Hubei province found that Chen had exploited his various positions, including those linked to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), to assist others in matters related to project contracting, investment operations, and sport event arrangements. In return, Chen accepted bribes totaling over 81 million yuan ($11 million).

The court ruling, as cited by the official Xinhua news agency, stated that Chen’s actions had caused “tremendous damage” to China’s football cause. This severe sentence concludes an investigation into high-level football officials in a sport that has long grappled with corruption, which fans have blamed for the underperformance of the national team.

Chen’s confession of corruption was featured in a four-part documentary series on national television in January. He revealed that the night before he became the chairman of the CFA in 2019, he received backpacks containing 300,000 yuan ($41,562) from two local football officials who sought his favor.

President Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign, which has also targeted football, has led to an increase in televised confessions of corruption. Xi, a football enthusiast, has expressed his dream of China hosting and winning the World Cup. However, this ambition seems further away than ever due to the corruption probe and years of disappointing results on the field.

Other football officials implicated in the corruption probe include Chen Yongliang, former CFA executive deputy secretary-general, Liu Lei, a former director at the Wuhan Football Management Centre, Yu Hongchen, a former vice head of the CFA, and Dong Zheng, a former general manager of the Chinese Super League. Chen has been sentenced to 14 years in prison, Yu to 13 years, and Dong to eight years, according to state media.

In a previous football corruption case in 2012, former CFA chairman Xie Yalong and his successor Nan Yong were each sentenced to 10 and a half years in jail for accepting bribes. Rulings in other major corruption cases are expected to be announced later, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is disheartening to see yet another case of corruption in the world of football. The sentencing of Chen Xuyuan to life in prison for accepting bribes is a clear indication that corruption has deeply rooted itself in the sport. This not only tarnishes the reputation of the individuals involved but also casts a shadow on the integrity of the game itself.

    It is crucial for football associations and governing bodies to take strict measures to combat corruption and ensure transparency. This case serves as a reminder that no one

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