China Clamps Down On Soccer Match Fixing

Published Friday, January 01, 2010 -

The New Year has started off in China with a crack down on sports match fixing. The fallout from the Chinese efforts to eradicate corruption in sports has lead to more than twenty sporting officials being arrested and charged. Of those nabbed were the president and two coaches from a team owned by the U.K.'s Sheffield United club. The clamping down on the sporting event corruption was ordered by the Chinese president Hu Jintao. Zhang Weizhe, the coach of a splinter club of Sheffield United, and two other men linked to the Yorkshire club are suspected of buying promotion, bribing referees and using club funds for their own pleasures. Officials and fans in China are reporting to be most concerned that the sport of soccer is being destroyed by corruption and greed. The problem with match fixing in China is out in the open and many Chinese people think it is out of control. Although betting on matches is illegal, online bookies, many of them run by U.K. firms on overseas servers do billions of dollars of business every year so they are working hard to expose illegal activity. These companies don't want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Chinese gambling cartels have gone to great lengths to fix games, including buying second and third division clubs in Finland, Belgium and eastern Europe and then replacing the manager and best players to ensure they do not win. Buying a game in China is far easier because the salaries of all but a handful of star players and referees are sub standard.

For example when John Hollins joined Shenyang Tiger Star from Stockport in 2004, he found the players living in the changing room and in less than good condition to properly play. The combination of corruption and inequality have made the national team which has qualified for the World Cup finals just once a disgrace to the league. While millions of Chinese fans love European football local they do not give their members any respect. Obvious during the Beijing Olympics, where Chinese fans at the semi-final chanted for the resignation of the chairman of the football association.








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