China's football is now under scanner of Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive

Mar 24, 2023 12:51 PM IST

China's anti-corruption crackdown extends to football with two officials from CFA, Huang Song and Wang Xiaoping, being investigated for serious law violations.

Two top football officials in China are being investigated over "serious violations of the law", the country's sports authority said Friday, as a government crackdown spread deeper into the game.

Former national coach and Premier League player Li Tie.(Twitter/Everton)
Former national coach and Premier League player Li Tie.(Twitter/Everton)

Those under investigation are Huang Song, the head of the competition department at the Chinese Football Association (CFA), and Wang Xiaoping, the chief of its disciplinary committee, according to statements by the General Administration of Sport.

They are the latest in a series of high-profile football officials to have fallen under investigation since November, among them CFA head Chen Xuyuan and former national coach and Premier League player Li Tie.

In all the cases, no further details were given on the alleged offences when the investigations were announced, but the phrasing is typically used by Chinese government bodies as a byword for corruption.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is a self-proclaimed football fan who has said he hopes to see his country host and even win the World Cup one day.

But his signature anti-graft drive has swept through the national game in recent months, battering an industry already struggling under financial woes and the impact of the zero-Covid policy.

The clampdown has also ensnared "multiple" professional players in the two top divisions of the Chinese league, financial news outlet Caixin reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

The players include Jin Jingdao, a Chinese international player currently at Shandong Taishan FC in the Chinese Super League, the report said.

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