|Lu Jun, the best-known Chinese referee who had officiated World Cup and Olympic Games, is brought to court in Dandong, on charges of "taking bribes as non-state staff" later on Wednesday. [Chinanews.com]|
Best known Chinese soccer referee Lu Jun confessed on Wednesday to accepting bribes for fixing games amid a series of trials involving dozens of officials and referees.
Lu, China's "Gold Whistle" who had officiated in World Cup and Olympic matches, admitted to taking a total of 810,000 yuan (about 128,000 US dollars) in bribes for fixing seven league games involving four clubs.
The games fixed by Lu included four first division league games in 2003, which were Shandong vs Sichuan, Shandong vs Bayi, Shanghai Shenhua vs Shanghai International, and Shenyang vs Shenzhen.
The Intermediate People's Court of Dandong showed the evidence that Shanghai Shenhua club spent 5.5 million yuan (870,000 US dollars) in bribing officials and referees, including 700,000 yuan which was split by Lu and Zhang Jianqiang.
Zhang, former head of the Chinese Football Association's referee commission, was the first official to stand trial as corruption hearings against some of China's top footballing officials opened on Monday.
Lu also took bribes to sway games' results as a middleman.
Earlier in the day, former Chinese soccer chief Yang Yimin was put on trial.
Yang, who used to be a deputy head of both the Chinese Football Association and the Chinese Football Administrative Center, stood trial for bribery in the Intermediate People's Court of Tieling in Liaoning Province.