Manchester City
Huddersfield Town
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Sporting Gijón
6:30 PM UTC
Game Details
Real Madrid
Las Palmas
8:30 PM UTC
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Schalke 04
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Hamburg SV
Borussia Monchengladbach
LIVE 33'
Game Details
AS Roma
7:45 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details

Boro must capitalise at Stoke

By ESPN Staff

China sports minister "saddened" by match-fixing scandal

China's sports minister Liu Peng has been left "sad and deeply shocked" by the matchfixing scandal that has engulfed professional footballr in the country.

Liu, a senior Communist Party official who oversaw China's rise to the top of the medals table at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said his ministry was "inescapably responsible" for the poor situation of Chinese soccer.

In comments published by press agency Xinhua, he said: "We are very sad and deeply shocked by the serious problems exposed recently in football. It is a heavy lesson to learn."

"The roots of the problem go back a long way. It is a warning to us that we have long way to go to rule out corruption within the sports officials."

Nan Yong, the former head of Chinese Football Association (CFA), was taken away for questioning by police with two other senior officials last week. They were later removed from their posts.

More than 20 officials, players and club managers have been arrested or detained in the past two months on suspicion of matchfixing or gambling, which remains illegal in China.

Local media reported on Monday that all senior and middle level CFA officials have been ordered not to leave Beijing until the investigation is completed.

Liu said the sports authorities would firmly support and cooperate with the police campaign to crack down on the manipulation of match results and gambling without mercy.

"Football is a sport of huge social influence. It has the concern of state leaders and the attention of people," he added.

"Our people are very unhappy about it... It is the bottleneck restricting the development of sports and the construction of a strong sports nation."

Chinese soccer has long been regarded as a national disgrace, a mire of corruption, violence, poor play and dwindling crowds.

President Hu Jintao made his concern over the game known last October after a flood of similar remarks from other officials, an indication that the government was finally getting serious about cracking down on the problems.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.