Confusion over Li Tie corruption case

February 26 – Conflicting reports have emerged from China over the fate of Li Tie, former head coach of the men’s national team.

Li is reported by a number of Chinese-based journalists to have been jailed for life after becoming embroiled in a bribery and corruption scandal.

Last August Li, who played in the 2002 World Cup and at club level for Everton in the English Premier League, was charged with “serious violations of the law” by state prosecutors.

One of the most famed Chinese footballers of his generation who won 92 caps, he served as manager of China between 2019 and 2021 before being accused of “accepting and offering bribes” during the country’s crackdown on systematic corruption in football.

He also admitted to playing a role in a match-fixing scandal to win promotions while in charge of Hebei China Fortuna and Wuhan Zall.

Li was quoted as saying in a televised statement last month: “I’m very sorry. I should have kept my head to the ground and followed the right path. There were certain things that at the time were common practices in football.

“By gaining ‘success’ through such improper means, it actually made me more and more impatient and eager for quick results.

“In order to achieve good performance, I resorted to influencing referees, bribing opposing players and coaches, sometimes through clubs dealing with other clubs.”

It has also been alleged that former head of the Chinese Football Association, Chen Xuyuan, will serve a 15-year term and that current vice-president Du Zhaocai has been handed a 13-year sentence.

However, the China Daily newspaper insists reports of Li’s life sentence are premature.

“The fact is that Li has not stood on trial yet, so the claim cannot be true,” the paper said.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1713516081labto1713516081ofdlr1713516081owedi1713516081sni@w1713516081ahsra1713516081w.wer1713516081dna1713516081



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