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Bribe trial opens in China soccer scandal

April 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM
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DANDONG, China, April 24 (UPI) -- Trials began Tuesday for two former top-ranking officials of China's national soccer league accused of pocketing millions of yuan in bribes.

Xie Yalong, 53, the former chief of the Chinese Football Association, denied "parts of the charges" Tuesday in Dandong Intermediate People's Court, his lawyer told the Chinese Web site Sina.

Xie faces 12 counts of accepting bribes totaling 1,727,800 yuan ($273,000) during his three years on the job, China's Xinhua news agency said.

Xie's successor, Nan Yong, faced a judge in a separate trial Tuesday. Xie is charged with taking 1.23 million yuan ($195,000) in payoffs, including 100,000 yuan to help an individual player win a spot on China's national team.

The pair was the highest ranking soccer officials caught up in the bribery scandal, which has implicated dozens of officials, referees and players, Xinhua said.

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