June 13, 2024 1:44 am
Chinese courts sentence sports officials to 8 years in prison for bribery.

The Chinese Football Association’s (CFA) former president, Chen Xuyuan, has been sentenced to life in prison as part of a crackdown on sports corruption. Recent court sentences have ranged from eight years to life for officials in sports programs controlled by the Communist Party, accusing them of taking bribes and committing financial crimes.

Other high-ranking officials found guilty of accepting bribes include former head of the National Athletics Association, Hong Chen, who received 13 years, former soccer official Chen Yongliang, who was sentenced to 14 years, and Dong Zheng, former CEO of Chinese Football Association Super League Company, who was given an eight-year sentence.

China’s soccer league is heavily backed by real estate firms that have experienced financial instability due to overextension. This has led to concerns about these companies not being able to finish apartments or pay back debts. Furthermore, payments to players hoping for success in Chinese and international markets have gone awry due to financial concerns in the world’s second-largest economy.

Corruption in China’s soccer leagues has long been a problem. Despite past successes on the international stage, the national men’s and women’s teams struggle with their performance. Corruption typically involves payments to players and referees to sway outcomes in favor of gambling syndicates. Allegations have also emerged that payments were made to secure spots in training camps for top teams, including the men’s national squad.

Despite these challenges, efforts are ongoing to improve Chinese soccer at both the domestic and international levels. However, China’s economic slowdown and government involvement in sports, culture, and private businesses continue to hinder progress towards greater success on the field.

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