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The former President of the China Football Association has been sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes.

Former China FA President jailed for life for accepting bribes

A former president of the China Football Association, Chen Xuyuan, has been sentenced to life in prison following an anti-corruption probe.

Xuyuan was found to have accepted bribes totalling millions during his tenure in office from 2010 to 2023, a court in central Hubei province ruled.

According to Xinhua news agency, China’s official state broadcaster, Xuyuan used his position to aid others in matters regarding project contracting, investment operations and sports events arrangements.

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His sentencing follows a huge anti-corruption probe in the country, which saw high-level football officials subjected to an inquiry.

Chinese football has often been tagged with allegations of corruption, with some fans linking the poor performance of the national team to issues of graft.

A documentary series aired on national television showed Xuyuan confessing to receiving backpacks each containing $41,600 from two local football officials who wanted him to “take care of them.”

The ex-Chinese FA boss is said to have received bribes to the tune of $11.2 million, an act the court said has caused “tremendous damage” to the sport in the Asian country.

Meanwhile, Xuyuan was not the only top official who was jailed, as former executive deputy secretary general of the Chinese FA, Chen Yongliang, has also been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The FA’s former vice president Yu Hongchen and the former general manager of the Chinese Super League, Dong Zheng, have equally been sentenced to 13 and eight years, respectively.

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