Newspaper that inspires change. Breaking stories that shake the world. Be informed, Don't Settle for Fake News.

feat shape 1
feat shape 2
feat shape 3

Former China football coach admits to paying bribes for job in TV confession

Former Chinese national football team coach confesses to paying bribes and match-fixing in an anti-corruption documentary aired on state broadcaster.

Li Tie, the former coach of the Chinese national football team, recently made a televised confession in which he admitted to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to secure the top coaching job, as well as being involved in match-fixing. This confession comes amid a major anti-corruption campaign in Chinese football, which has seen numerous leading figures investigated or charged.

Li, a former Everton midfielder, had been under investigation since 2022 for "serious violations of the law". However, detailed information on the case was not available until his confession aired on state broadcaster CCTV as part of an anti-graft documentary.

In his confession, Li revealed that he arranged nearly $421,000 in bribes to secure the head coach position and had also been involved in match-fixing while working as a club coach. He expressed regret for his actions, acknowledging that he should have followed the right path and avoided engaging in corrupt practices.

The documentary also shed light on Li's dealings with Wuhan Zall Football Club, where he was working as a coach. He had asked the club to intervene on his behalf with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), promising to return the favor. The club paid two million yuan in bribes to Chen Xuyuan, the former president of the CFA, who is also under investigation for corruption. Li also admitted to giving one million yuan from his own pocket to the secretary-general of the CFA.

After his appointment as the national team coach, four Wuhan Zall footballers were appointed to the national team, despite not being qualified to play at that level. This revelation has raised questions about the integrity of the national team selection process and the influence of bribery and corruption in Chinese football.

The investigation into Li is part of a broader crackdown on corruption in Chinese football, with around 10 senior leaders and executives of the CFA also facing charges. Former president Chen was indicted in September for corruption, confessing in the TV documentary to accepting large sums from those seeking to gain favor with him.

The revelations about corruption in Chinese football come at a time when the country's leadership, including President Xi Jinping, has expressed ambitions of developing the men's team into an international powerhouse. However, these ambitions have been overshadowed by the pervasive influence of corruption, which has undermined the integrity of the sport and hindered China's progress in the football world.

Share With Others

Comments on Former China football coach admits to paying bribes for job in TV confession