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International Business Times | Mar 20
David Beckham, China's newly appointed "Global Ambassador for Soccer," has launched a bid to revive the sport's grassroots popularity in China and ...
In the city of Tieling, they delivered the verdict on graft charges Thursday. Lu Jun, known as the "Golden Whistle", a 2002 World Cup referee, was sentenced to five and a half years in jail for accepting bribes for match-fixing. Huang Junjie, an international-level referee, was sentenced to seven years. The trial of high-profile soccer officials, including Nan Yong and Xie Yalong, is expected to take place in March.
The "Golden Whistle" blows no more. During Wednesday's two and a half hour session, Lu Jun wept while prosecutors recounted that he started to officiate key matches in his early thirties. Outside the court, soccer fans braved temperatures of minus 15 degrees celsius for the result. And they got what they wanted: five former soccer referees will be put behind bars, and more cases will be opened. Justice is served more than two years after the nationwide clampdown on gambling and match-fixing. The match-fixing allegations first surfaced in 2009. Former player Wang Xin was accused of wrongdoing while a team manager in Singapore. This proved to be just the tip of the iceberg, with allegations surfacing against more players and officials from various pro cups. The whole country gasped when ex-CFA Vice President Nan Yong and another Vice President, Yang Yimin, were taken away for investigation early in 2010. In March, Nan Yong, together with several top CFA officials, were arrested on match-fixing and corruption charges. Former CFA president Xie Yalong and officials from the national team were arrested months later in October. Soccer fans were heartbroken in finding out about the alleged gambling and match-fixing in China's professional leagues goes back for years. They're hoping the trial will be the first step in a long process to resurrect the sport.