Prison sentences for 9 bribed Chinese referees

Shanghai ShenhuaA Chinese court has sentenced nine football referees to prison for taking bribes to fix matches. Among the sentenced referees was Lu Jun, who was twice named best referee of the year. Lu Jun, China's 'Gold Whistle', took charge of World Cup and Olympic matches. He has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison.

Match fixing scandal

Last December, China initiated weeklong trial sessions in order to combat match fixing. Around sixty players, coaches, officials and referees have been charged with bribery. The match fixing scandal featured both games in the Chinese Super League and friendly fixtures.

Bribes worth $1 million

Among the involved clubs is Shanghai Shenhua, which recently reached an agreement with French striker Nicolas Anelka. The Shanghai-based club used bribes worth almost $1 million to fix matches. In 2009, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) started a crusade to banish match fixing. Since then, many referees, players, coaches and officials have been taken into custody.
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