Chinese Ref took $246,000 in bribes

A well-known Chinese referee confessed in court yesterday to accepting bribes for fixing local and international matches, amid a series of corruption hearings involving top football officials.

Chinese referee Huang Junjie shows a yellow card during the 2007 Asian
Cup qualifying match between Australia and Kuwait in Sydney. Pic/Getty

Huang Junjie admitted to accepting more than $246,000 in bribes to fix two international friendlies as well as six Chinese club matches between 2005 and 2009, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The veteran of more than 20 years -- who in 2009 was among three shortlisted for best Chinese referee of the year -- also confessed to accepting bribes from his colleague Zhou Weixin to sway results, the report added.

Zhou is facing charges of corruption as well as bribing civil servants, Xinhua said. The tainted matches that Huang officiated include a 2007 exhibition match between English Premier League champions Manchester United and China's Shenzhen FC, and a 2009 fixture between Shanghai Shenhua and Australia's Sydney FC.

Corruption hearings against some of China's top footballing officials kicked off Monday with Zhang Jianqiang, the former head referee of the Super League, in court to face charges of accepting match-fixing bribes totalling $409,600.

Referee Lu Jun, who had previously officiated World Cup and Olympic football matches, will stand trial Wednesday.

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