Corrupt China Referee Lu Jun Jailed Over Bribes

February 17, 2012

look helvetica, capsule sans-serif;”>China’s top football referee Lu Jun was sentenced to five and a half years in jail after he was found guilty of taking bribes in order to fix matches.


A full investigation has been in place for some time now with corruption proving to be an on-going problem in the Chinese game.


This has led to the arrest of 9 people, including Lu Jun, being arrested this week, and several others waiting to hear their fate.


Lu Jun’s greatest career highlight was officiating at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan where he was in charge of two group stage matches.


The Asian Football Confederations also named him referee of the year on two occasions.


He was found sentenced 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 relate to four Chinese top-level clubs, one of which is Shanghai Shenua, who have recently signed French star Nicolas Anelka.


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.


In China, corrupt referees are known as ‘black whistles.’  This latest scandal is sure to tarnish it’s already damaged reputation but it is hoped the convictions this week lead to kick starting the campaign to clean up Chinese football.


By Marc Sibbons