Former China chief faces police probe

BEIJING - Chinese police are investigating the former chief of the country's football federation and two other senior figures in the sport on suspicion of bribery and helping fix matches, state media reported on Sunday.

Xie Yalong, the former chief of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), faces the inquiry along with Wei Shaohui, a former executive for the national team, and Li Dongsheng, an ex-head of the referee body, said the Xinhua news agency.

"The investigations are part of a widening gambling and match-fixing probe," the report said, citing an unnamed source in China's Ministry of Public Security.

Xie was widely derided by Chinese football fans, frustrated with the losses inflicted on the national side and the parade of graft and match-fixing claims that marred the domestic league.

He lost his job as CFA chief early last year

The announcement of a formal police investigation comes in the wake of a string of matchfixing scandals that have spattered the Chinese domestic football league.

In January, Xie's successor as head of the CFA, Nan Yong, his deputy Yang Yimin and another former referee department head Zhang Jianqiang were arrested and sacked from their posts.

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