Corruption trial for top China football chief starts

File photo: Xie Yalong Xie Yalong is the highest-ranking football official to go on trial for corruption in China

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The former head of China's football league has gone on trial over corruption charges, the latest in a series of cases to hit the sport in the country, state media report.

Xie Yalong, 56, who was chief of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), is accused of taking bribes, Xinhua reports.

The hearing comes as China steps up efforts to try and clean up the game.

A top referee has already been jailed for five years for taking bribes.

Dozens of people - referees, players, officials and coaches - have been arrested following a campaign to clean up Chinese football launched in 2009.

Referee Lu Jun, who officiated at the World Cup, was jailed in February for receiving more than $128,000 (£82,000) in bribes to fix the results of seven football league games.

Mr Xie, who is being tried in the north-eastern city of Dandong in Liaoning province, is the most senior of several football officials currently facing trial for corruption.

Nan Yong, who succeeded Mr Xie in his post, is also due to go on trial on similar charges on Wednesday, as are four players who have represented China on the international stage, Xinhua said.

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