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China match fixing sanctions issued

The Chinese club which former Chelsea star Didier Drogba played for briefly has been punished for match fixing.

Shanghai Shenhua have been stripped of the 2003 league title and fined 160,000 dollars (£103,000) as part of a new round of sanctions aimed at rooting out match fixing in the Chinese Super League.

The Chinese Football Association also banned 33 officials and players for life at the end of a three-year investigation into corruption in the CSL, the Xinhua News Agency and other state media reported.

Among those banned were former association chiefs NanYong and Xie Yalong, who were sentenced last year to 10.5 years in prison each.

Shenhua were also docked six points for the coming season as part of the punishment for fixing the result of a game against Shanxi Guoli on the way to the 2003 title.

Another 11 clubs were also fined up to 160,000 dollars and docked from three to six points for bribery and match fixing.

Also handed life-long bans were former deputy association head Yang Yimin, 2002 World Cup referee Lu Jun and four former Chinese internationals - Shen Si, Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming - all of whom were earlier sentenced to up to six years in jail for taking bribes.

Violations cited by the CFA included match fixing, bribe taking and receiving, and gambling - some of them dating back a decade or more, Xinhua said.

Football-mad China has made some progress in reining in rampant corruption that many blame in part for the national team's poor international results.

Last year's sentences were seen as a warning that the legal system was serious about punishing violators, and fans have been returning to stadiums to cheer on their favourites in the 16-team CSL.


From Belfast Telegraph