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Two more senior soccer officials under investigation

By Shi Futian | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-24 20:41

The battle against corruption in Chinese soccer continues, as two more senior officials with the Chinese Football Association are now under investigation for suspected violations of discipline and law, China's top anti-graft watchdog said on Friday.

Huang Song, head of the CFA's competition management department, and Wang Xiaoping, director of the CFA's disciplinary commission, are now being investigated by a disciplinary inspection and supervision team stationed at the General Administration of Sport of China, which was sent by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Commission of Supervision. The Hubei provincial commission of supervision is also involved.

Since late last year, a series of CFA officials and a former Team China coach have been put under investigation for suspected violations of discipline and law. It started in November with the investigation of Li Tie, the former China's men's soccer team head coach.

In January, Chen Yongliang, the CFA's executive deputy secretary-general, and Liu Yi, the CFA's former secretary-general, were both placed under investigation, which was followed by the investigation of CFA president Chen Xuyuan just a month later. No details of these investigations have been released.

The latest investigation instantly became trending news on Chinese social media platforms. Hashtag "CFA's Huang Song and Wang Xiaoping under investigation" had been viewed over 50 million times on Weibo by Friday morning. Instead of shock, most netizens expressed their hope that these investigations could help forge a cleaner and healthier Chinese soccer environment.

Earlier this month, Gao Zhidan, director of the General Administration of Sport of China, vowed to lead comprehensive reforms of soccer and impose strict measures to wipe out corruption.

"The soccer industry now has a number of problems, and it fails to live up to people's expectations. Regarding the recent serious problems in the soccer sector, there's a lot of soul-searching to do. … We must have systematic methods to tackle these problems bravely and fastidiously," Gao said during an earlier interview in Beijing.

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