April 4, 2020
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Chinese FA bans 33 players and officials for corruption – 中国足球协会超级联赛

The Chinese Football Association banned 33
officials and players for life at the conclusion of a three-year investigation into corruption
in the Chinese Super League (CSL). Among those banned were former association
chiefs Nan Yong and Xie Yalong, who were sentenced last year to 10 and a half years in prison
each. The 12 clubs that were involved in match-fixing
were fined by the Chinese authorities. Shanghai Shenhua, briefly home to Didier Drogba
and Nicolas Anelka, has been stripped of its 2003 league title and fined 160,000 USD. Shenhua were also docked six points for the
coming season as part of its punishment for fixing the result of a game against Shanxi
Guoli on its way to the 2003 title. Violations cited by the CFA included match
fixing, bribe taking and receiving, and gambling – some of the charges dating back a decade
or more. A recent push to attract big-name international
talent has raised questions, both about the ability of teams to pay the huge salaries
and the suffocating effect that is having on the development of local talent. Drogba signed to Shenhua with much fanfare
last May, but left in January to join Galatasaray of Istanbul, citing the Chinese club’s failure
to pay wages.

David Frank