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Chinese football clubs harshly punished for corruption

Chinese football clubs

Sports News – Penalties for corruption in Chinese football including 33 life bans and the stripping of Didier Drogba’s former club Shanghai Shenhua of the 2003 league title were branded inadequate on Tuesday.

Shenhua received the harshest punishment from the Chinese Football Association (CFA) for the part they played in match-fixing scandals that have blighted the game in China.

But their punishment, which also included a fine of one million yuan ($160,000) and a six-point deduction for the new Chinese Super League (CSL) season starting next month, was criticised as too soft.

Shanghai was found guilty of fixing a game against Shanxi Guoli during the 2003 campaign and was among 12 clubs given “disciplinary punishments”.

Tianjin was found guilty of fixing a game in the same season.Jilin Yanbian was fined 500,000 yuan and deducted three points for throwing a match in 2006.

The CFA also banned 33 people from involvement with football for life, including former CFA heads Nan Yong and Xie Yalong, who have both been convicted and jailed for taking bribes, with another 25 people banned for five years.

China launched a high-profile crackdown on corruption in football in 2009, leading to several prison sentences.

The league appeared to turn a corner as star foreign names were brought in, among them Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, his former team-mate at English Premier League side Chelsea, who both joined Shenhua.

But both players have since left the club, with Drogba going to Turkish league leaders Galatasaray in disputed circumstances and Anelka signing for Juventus on loan. (AFP)

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