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Former club manager and refs on trial for soccer corruption

12-20-2011 12:44 BJT

By Sportswriters Wu Junkuan and Li Zheng

TIELING, Liaoning Province, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A former soccer club manager was put on trial Tuesday morning as the first round of Chinese soccer corruption trials went into the second day.

Two soccer referees will also appear before the Intermediate People's Court of Dandong in another Liaoning city later on Tuesday.

Wang Po, former general manager of Shaanxi Guoli club, stood trial on charges of bribe-taking and fraud in the Intermediate People's Court of Tieling in northeast China's Liaoning province.

Born in 1955, Wang Po used to work as a police officer before starting his own business. He became general manager of Shaanxi Guoli in 2003, moving the relegated club to Ningbo, Zhejiang, in 2004 and to Harbin, Heilongjiang, in 2005 before the club was disqualified from the second tier league for failing to pay up players' wage.

Then Wang became general manager of Tibet Huitong club in late 2005, moved the club to Taiyuan, Shanxi, and changed the club's name to Shanxi Wellsend in 2006.

Wang is notorious for using his position to take bribes for match-fixing and also allegedly bet on matches involving his own team with an overseas football gambling website to make money. He was detained by police in the nationwide crackdown on soccer corruption in 2009.

Referees Huang Junjie and Zhou Weixin are both charged with taking bribes as non-state staff with Zhou facing an additional count of bribing civil servants.

Huang from Shanghai had worked as a soccer ref for more than 20 years. He was selected as one of the three nominees for the best referee of the year in 2009 although a series of controversial rulings were made by him during the season.

In early 2010, Huang was taken away by the police.

Like Huang, Zhou was also often caught with controversial rulings and sometimes even wrong decisions.

During a Chinese Super League match between Beijing Guoan and Shenyang Jinde on Oct. 2, 2004, Zhou ruled a penalty kick in favor of Shenyang in the second half, which aroused furious protest from the players and coach of Beijing.

The Beijing team refused to continue the match and left the pitch out of rage and Zhou ruled the the match ended with Beijing losing.

The Chinese Football Association later slapped an eight-match ban on Zhou for his "misjudgment" in the match, although many suspected Zhou made the mistake on purpose.

The long-awaited trials for corruption in Chinese soccer started on Monday morning in Tieling with Zhang Jianqiang, ex-director of CFA's referee committee, being the first to face court.

The ex-deputy director of the Chinese Football Administrative Center, Yang Yimin and Lu Jun, the best known Chinese soccer ref who once officiated in World Cup and Olympic Games, will stand trial on Wednesday.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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