Chinese referees sent to re-education camp

BEIJING - More than 200 Chinese football officials have been sent on a five-day "Anti-corruption Rectification Education Camp" as China tries to rebuild the game after the matchfixing scandal, local media reported on Friday.

Huang Junjie, a FIFA international referee since 1998, was taken away for questioning by police earlier this week as part of the investigation into corruption in the Chinese domestic game.

The professional match officials, who will officiate in next season's men and women's Chinese leagues, will receive lectures on anti-corruption, training in refereeing skills and take an exam, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

"The re-education of referees is also an important part of the ongoing anti-corruption campaign, the same as that of the CFA officials and the national teams," Chinese Football Association (CFA) head Wei Di told the paper.

The referees will also have a chance to confess to any wrongdoing in the past.

"If any of the referees has done wrong, he must immediately give up the illegal money ... I hope he could confess on his own initiative and not to miss the chance to save himself," Wei added.

Gong Jianping, the only referee who admitted to matchfixing in the earlier "black whistles" scandal, was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2003 before dying in prison 18 months later.

Wei's predecessor as CFA head, Nan Yong, and former referee's committee chief Zhang Jianqiang are among more than 20 players, coaches, club managers and officials arrested for corruption over the last few months.