SHANGHAI: Shanghai Shenhua, club lately abandoned by Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, has been heavily punished by the Chinese federation for matchfixing – albeit long before the two veterans joined up writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
This is the latest disciplinary sanctions inflicted by the CFA over the corruption scandal which ripped apart the domestic game between 2003 and 2009.
Tianjin Teda and Shanghai Shenhua have both been fined €120,000 and warned of a points penalty to be applied at the start of the new season for matchfixing in 2003. Shenhua have also had the club’s 2003 league title cancelled.
Altogether, the latest round of punishments has seen 33 people banned for life, including jailed former federation presidents Nan Yong and Xie Yalong.
Nan Yong was sentenced to 10 and a half years for taking bribes worth more than $237,500 while predecessor Xie Yalong received an identical sentence and was also fined $1,200.
In total 58 people have been punished by the Chinese Football Association’s (CFA) discipline commission, concluding a three-year long push to clean up rampant corruption in the sport.
Former CFA deputy head Yang Yimin and World Cup referee Lu Jun, once hailed as China’s “Golden Whistle”, were among the 33 banned from soccer for life.
Four former Chinese national team players Shen Si, Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming, all jailed for up to six years in June for match-fixing, were also handed life bans.
Anelka, , joined Shenhua from Chelsea in January last year but had been in China barely six months before reports of bust-ups within the club and with fans prompted speculation of a move back to Europe. He scored only three goals in 22 games joined Italian champions Juventus last month on a five-month contract.
Drogba, 34-year-old Ivory Coast captain, joined Shenhua last summer after striking a crucial goal and decisive penalty in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph over Bayern in Munich. He signed a two-and-a-half-year contract worth £200,000-a-week.
Drogba scored eight goals in 11 games but, walked out on the club in January claiming he had not been paid, and signed an 18-month contract with Turkish Champions League contenders Galatasaray.
FIFA granted Drogba a temporary licence to play for Galatasaray pending the outcome of the dispute and he scored a debut goal five minutes after appearing as a substitute against Akhisar Belediyespor.
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