Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

China police quiz football officials over corruption

Members of China's national team celebrate after scoring against Vietnam during the Asian Cup football qualifier on 17 January 2010
Chinese officials say they want to clean up the game's domestic image

Police in China are questioning three top officials of the Chinese Football Association in an investigation into claims of match fixing.

CFA vice presidents Nan Yong and Yang Yimin, as well as former refereeing official Zhang Jianqiang, were detained, Xinhua news agency said.

It is not clear if formal charges will be brought against the three.

At least 16 club officials and others have been arrested in recent months over allegations of match fixing.

Football is very popular in China but the national team has languished in world standings. Critics have blamed its failings on the sport's mismanagement at the domestic level.

Chinese officials, including President Hu Jintao, have spoken recently of the need to clean up football's image in China.

"The crackdown on manipulating domestic soccer matches through commercial bribery has showcased a firm attitude in fighting corruption and rectifying the soccer sector," said a statement from the Ministry of Public Security quoted by Xinhua.

China's Soccer Daily reported that the three officials were detained on Friday.

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