Former China FA President Receives Life Sentence for Bribery

A former president of the China Football Association, Chen Xuyuan, has been sentenced to life in prison following an anti-corruption probe.

Xuyuan was found to have accepted bribes totalling millions during his tenure in office from 2010 to 2023, a court in central Hubei province ruled.

According to Xinhua news agency, China’s official state broadcaster, Xuyuan used his position to aid others in matters regarding project contracting, investment operations and sports events arrangements.

His sentencing follows a huge anti-corruption probe in the country, which saw high-level football officials subjected to an inquiry.

Chinese football has often been tagged with allegations of corruption, with some fans linking the poor performance of the national team to issues of graft.

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A documentary series aired on national television showed Xuyuan confessing to receiving backpacks each containing $41,600 from two local football officials who wanted him to “take care of them.”

The ex-Chinese FA boss is said to have received bribes to the tune of $11.2 million, an act the court said has caused “tremendous damage” to the sport in the Asian country.

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