Chinese Football Association President Chen Xuyuan Sentenced to Life for Match-Fixing and Financial Crimes as Part of Broader Sports Corruption Crackdown

Chinese sports officials sentenced to 8 years in prison for bribery charges

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has recently seen its president, Chen Xuyuan, receive a life sentence for his involvement in match-fixing and financial crimes. This is part of a wider crackdown on sports corruption that has seen officials in sports programs controlled by the Communist Party receive sentences ranging from eight years to life in prison.

Among those sentenced were the former head of the National Athletics Association, Hong Chen, and former high-ranking soccer official Chen Yongliang. The Chinese Football Association Super League, largely backed by real estate firms, has faced financial instability due to concerns about the financial health of these companies.

Corruption in Chinese soccer has long been an issue, with reports of payoffs to players and referees to influence match outcomes. There are also allegations of payments made to secure spots for players in training camps, including the national men’s squad, which is currently ranked 88th by FIFA. The women’s national team holds the 19th spot.

The sport’s struggles in China are further compounded by economic slowdowns and government intervention in sports, culture, and private enterprises. These factors have hindered the country’s efforts to improve the competitiveness and success of its soccer programs.

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