Tuesday, September 26, 2023
The former head of the Chinese Football Association was formally charged on Tuesday for "accepting bribes", provincial prosecutors said, shedding further light on his case after an investigation was launched in February.
The indictment comes as Chinese authorities pursue a crackdown on malpractice in the sport which has also seen former national team coach Li Tie charged with corruption in August.
Former CFA president Chen Xuyuan was charged with "seeking benefits for other people and illegally accepting property from others of a particularly large amount," said the Hubei Provincial People's Procuratorate in a statement.
It said his case had been transferred for prosecution.
"(He) should be held criminally responsible for... accepting bribes."
A formal probe into Chen was announced in February by the government's sports agency, which accused him at the time of "serious violations of discipline and the law".
Fighting alleged corruption has long been a central theme of President Xi Jinping's rule, with the Chinese leader waging a sweeping campaign since taking office that critics claim helps him purge political rivals.
Xi has described himself as a football fan and said he dreams of China hosting and winning a World Cup one day.
But after a boom period when clubs in China's top domestic league signed foreign stars for exorbitant fees, many teams hit hard times with several -- including former champions Jiangsu FC — going bust.
Chen had previously talked of launching a "new image and face of Chinese football".
The former Shanghai dockworker had been appointed on the promise of revamping the standing of a league with a reputation for excessive spending and poor financial management.