Two more Chinese Football Association officials put under investigation amid corruption crackdown
Published: Mar 24, 2023 10:50 PM
Wang Xiaoping File Photo: VCG

Wang Xiaoping File Photo: VCG

Two more officials of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) have been put under investigation, the latest move in China's intense efforts to crack down on corruption in the football industry, taking the number of CFA officials under investigation to six in less than four months.

Wang Xiaoping, director of the discipline committee of the CFA, and Huang Song, director of the CFA competition department are under investigation for alleged serious disciplinary and law violations, the discipline inspection and supervision organ of the Communist Party of China in Central China's Hubei Province announced on Friday.

Including Wang and Huang, six CFA officials have been put under investigation in about four months since November 2022, when an investigation into former head coach of the Chinese men's football team Li Tie started.

The other three CFA officials under investigation are Liu Yi, former secretary-general of the CFA, Chen Yongliang, executive deputy secretary-general and head of the national team's management department, and CFA President Chen Xuyuan, according to media reports.

Wang Xiaoping became director of the discipline committee of the CFA in 2009 as an expert in sports law from the China University of Political Science and Law.

The Chinese soccer community experienced an "earthquake" in 2009 because of the match-fixing scandal and the CFA started to hire law experts for the discipline committee to enhance the battle against betting and corruption.

Wang was dubbed "the busiest person in the CFA" as he had to sign every penalty decision the association issued. In 2017, he reportedly signed 152 penalty decisions, with fines of a total amount of about 3.5 million yuan (around $510,000).

Huang reportedly had a close relationship with Li Tie and served as assistant to Chen Yongliang in the national team's management department.

The investigation of these senior CFA officials in a short period shows the seriousness of the anti-corruption campaign, observers commented.

In an interview with the media on March 12 during the two sessions, Director of the General Administration of Sports Gao Zhidan said that Chinese sport authorities have been conducting a profound reflection on the problems that have emerged in soccer and other fields.

He admitted that for a long period of time, China has not developed as well as it should in certain major sports, especially in men's soccer. "The level of Chinese men's soccer has even gone down, and there are many chaotic situations within domestic soccer industry," he noted.

Global Times