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Chinese Football Ref May Face Death Penalty

Mar 18, 2010 - by admin
China Football Referee

Lu Jun, one of China’s most beloved referees, was arrested last week along with two other refs under suspicion of match fixing. Depending on the amount of money involved, Lu may face the death penalty for his crimes. Police, however, have not made an official statement about why the arrests were made.

Al Jazeera: China referees arrested over graft

Last week, Chinese police arrested three football referees on suspicion of match-fixing. Among the men detained is Lu Jun, one of China’s leading referees. Lu officiated hundreds matches before retiring in 2005, and earned the nickname the “golden whistle” for his integrity during an earlier match fixing scandal.

Lu’s sentence will depend on the amount of money involved in the betting scandal, but as a public servant, if he is found guilty of taking money, he may face the death penalty.

Wei Di, head of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), said he was “shocked” and “hurt” by the news of Lu’s arrest.

“He is undoubtedly a first-rate referee in terms of working ability, but his morals are a far cry from his ‘golden whistle’ reputation,” he said.

Facing intense pressure from China’s leaders, Wei is cracking down on match-fixing and corruption in Chinese football. He took over for as head of the CFA after his predecessor was arrested as part of an investigation into corruption in the game.

China Daily: Match fixing: 3 referees arrested

Three Chinese soccer referees, including the famous “golden whistle” Lu Jun, have been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Lu Jun, Zhou Weixin and Huang Junjie have been arrested,” said soccer chief Wei Di. “I was really shocked and hurt when Lu’s name cropped up in the scandal. He is undoubtedly a first-rate referee in terms of working ability, but his morals are a far cry from his ‘golden whistle’ reputation,” Wei said.

Lu was named the “best referee” in the league’s first decade. He was also named “Referee of the Year” twice by the Asian Football Confederation.

“We don’t know what sentences they will get But we can see these referees must have contributed to the problem of match fixing and manipulation,” Wei said, but the punishment for State servants found guilty of accepting bribes of more than 100,000 yuan ($14,705) is a minimum of 10 years up to death, according to Chinese law.

Reuters: China chief ‘hurt’ by match-fixing arrest of ‘golden’ ref

Chinese Football Association (CFA) chief Wei Di was “shocked” and “hurt” by the arrest of World Cup referee Lu Jun last week. Lu was dubbed the “golden whistle” for his integrity during the “black whistles” scandal some eight years ago.

One of three referees arrested, Lu faces punishments that could range from an administrative sanction to the death penalty, depending on the amount of money involved in the scandal.

The others referees detained were retired 45-year-old Guangzhou official Zhou Weixin and Huang Junjie, an active FIFA international referee.

Police have not told CFA chief Wei why the three officials were arrested. Wei took over as chief after his predecessor Nan Yong was arrested during another Chinese football scandal.

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