Friday 17 February 2012

China's Golden Whistle Gets Jail Sentence

Lu Jun, the first Chinese Referee to take charge of a World Cup match, has been sentenced for five and a half years on match-fixing charges.

Then in 2002 ...

... and Now in 2012

This news comes during the preseason of the 2012 Chinese Super League which is scheduled to begin on Saturday 10 March.

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Top China football referee Lu Jun jailed over bribes (BBC News)
By Michael Bristow BBC News, Beijing

The man who was once China's top football referee has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for taking bribes to fix matches.

Lu Jun - who officiated at the World Cup - was one of nine people convicted of charges related to corruption inside Chinese football.

The defendants were arrested following an investigation launched to try to clean up the game in China.

A number of other cases are still pending.

Lu Jun, once dubbed the "golden whistle", was the first Chinese referee to take charge of a World Cup match, at the 2002 event hosted by Japan and South Korea.

He was also twice named referee of the year by the Asian Football Confederation.

But now he has been sent to prison after admitting taking bribes worth more than $128,000 (£82,000) to fix the results of seven league football games, some in 2003.

These bribes involved four clubs, including Shanghai Shenhua, which has just signed French soccer star Nicolas Anelka.
'Black whistles'

The court, in the north-eastern city of Dandong, heard how the Shanghai club had spent nearly $1m bribing officials and referees, including Lu Jun.

The referee was one of a group of nine people - including other referees and officials - convicted following a trial. They were given sentences ranging from no time in jail to seven years behind bars.

There were tales of a wrongly-awarded penalty, the fixing of international friendly matches and gambling.

In China, corrupt referees have become known as "black whistles".

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