A TV grab of a China Central Television (CCTV) report on the soccer referees' corruption case, Dec.19, 2011. [Photo/sports.sina.com.cn]
Long-awaited trials for former Chinese soccer officials and referees started on Monday morning in the Intermediate People's Court of Tieling, a city in Northeast China's Liaoning province.
Zhang Jianqiang, ex-director of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) referee committee, will be the first suspect to appear on court at 8:30 a.m on Monday, followed by Yang Yimin, ex-deputy director of the Chinese Football Administrative Center on Wednesday morning.
Several top referees including Lu Jun, the country's "golden whistle" who officiated at 2002 World Cup will face trials next week at the Intermediate People's Court of Dandong, a border city in Liaoning.
But the date for the trial of for former CFA vice-president Nan Yong, who was arrested in March 2010, and Nan's predecessor Xie Yalong, has yet to be announced.
China's professional soccer leagues have been plagued with allegations of gambling, match-fixing and corrupt referees for years, and the police launched a probe in 2009.