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Former CFA Chairman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Bribery

The former head of the Chinese Football Association has been sentenced to life imprisonment for accepting bribes amounting to $11 million, state media reported on Tuesday, as a series of sports officials were jailed for corruption.

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, an extensive anti-corruption campaign has significantly impacted China’s sports sector, particularly football.

In recent years, around 10 high-ranking officials and executives of the CFA, including former national team coach Li Tie, have faced legal action.

According to the Communist Party-controlled People’s Daily newspaper, former chairman Chen Xuyuan used his positions within the CFA and other organizations to unlawfully receive a total of 81.03 million yuan ($11 million) in bribes.

The bribes were described as “extremely substantial,” and his actions were said to have “seriously undermined fair competition and order,” the report stated.

It further mentioned that his actions had “severe repercussions for the national football industry.”

President Xi, an avid football enthusiast, has expressed his aspirations for China to host and triumph in the World Cup.

However, this dream seems more distant than ever following the corruption investigation and years of disappointing performance on the field.

Last week, national team captain Zhang Linpeng temporarily retired from international football due to the “disgrace” of a World Cup qualifying draw against Singapore, although he later reversed his decision.

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