“I’ll give you 11 billion and make you a national teamer”… There’s a reason China’s soccer ‘stumbled’
The full story of a corruption scandal in Chinese soccer involving high-ranking officials and a former national coach has been revealed.
Money and gifts were exchanged, match results were manipulated, and large sums of money were spent on national team selections.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the National Inspection Commission, and CCTV recently produced and aired a four-part special documentary on fighting corruption titled “Continuous Efforts, In-depth Promotion,” according to the Hongxing Newspaper on Tuesday.
The last installment of the series, “Let’s Work Together to Fight Corruption,” exposed the details of several corruption cases in Chinese soccer.
The documentary features Du Zhaochai, former deputy director of the General Administration of Sport and party secretary of the Chinese Football Association, Chen Shiyuan, former president of the Chinese Football Association, and Li Tie, former head coach of the Chinese men’s national soccer team.
Corruption in Chinese soccer came to light in November 2022 when former national team coach Li Tie was investigated by authorities.
Li was a star in China’s last World Cup appearance, leading the team to the 2002 World Cup in South Korea.
The former player turned to coaching after retirement and was highly regarded for his success in managing two teams in the Chinese Professional League.
However, his success in the Super League was not without its share of controversy.
He joined Hebei Huaxia Xingfu in August 2015 and took over as head coach.
With nine games left in the season, Huaxia was in sixth place, but the club reportedly asked him to use his connections to buy out opponents after his arrival.
The Hua Xia Xingpu deal was an all-hands-on-deck deal that saw the club win a miraculous eight games in a row and earn promotion to the Super League.
Hua Xia Xingfu, which was acquired by real estate developer Xingfu, took a cue from Hengda’s investment in soccer to build brand awareness and was willing to engage in “black market” transactions to achieve good results in a short period of time.
The club spent a whopping 14 million yuan to buy off opposing players in its final match against Shenzhen Yuheng, which was supposed to be at least a draw.
The result was 2-0, a win for Huaxia Xingfu.
When Li Tie was hired as head coach of Wuhan Juejial, he became even more aggressive in his match-fixing efforts.
Wuhan Juezu also supported his match-fixing efforts, and the team advanced to the third round of the Super League.
It’s not just individual clubs that are involved in match-fixing, but also high-ranking figures in the soccer world.
There was a pervasive atmosphere that encouraged football associations to gain unfair advantage in the scheduling of professional matches and the assignment of referees. 안전토토사이트
“I didn’t crack down on that atmosphere because I was also paid by professional clubs,” recalled Chen Shiyuan, former president of the Chinese Football Association, “and if I did, it would be to my detriment.”
A case in point is the 300,000 yuan (about $55,000) each handed to Chen by local soccer association officials shortly after he was elected head of the association in August 2019.”
Football fans can tolerate Chinese football falling behind, but they can’t forgive corruption,” Chen said in tears on camera, “I want to deeply apologize to football fans, and if I could go back, I would never do this again.”
A higher authority, the General Administration of Sport, also played a role in turning a blind eye to corruption in soccer.
At the time, the General Administration of Sport alleged that match-fixing was occurring in the professional soccer league and ordered Du Zhaochai to investigate and deal with it, but Du dismissed it as “investigation and research.
The corruption in the soccer world is not limited to the professional leagues, but also the national team.
During his rise to the top of the professional league through match-fixing, former coach Litteh lobbied hard to become the head coach of the men’s national soccer team.
He asked his club, Juez, to lobby for him with the promise that he would be “rewarded” if he became coach.
The club gave 2 million yuan to former chairman Chen Shuyuan and 1 million yuan to Liu Yi, then secretary general of the Football Association.
After being appointed national team coach in 2020 with a 3 million yuan (about $550 million) kickback, Li Tei made another “deal” with the club that had become his “backer.”
Li Tei signed a contract with the club totaling about 60 million yuan (about $11 billion).
“When fans were hoping that Li would lead the national team to the World Cup, many already knew that such a miracle could not happen,” CCTV said.