Friday, April 11, 2008

More match-fixing, more easy sentences

In the few short months of this blog, I've become the go-to guy for a couple of subjects. I'm the bad jersey guy. I'm also the guy who writes on Scotland which nobody reads or cares for (sorry for so much Gretna this season). Now, with this new article, I feel I'll also be known as the guy who writes about match-fixers getting lenient sentences. Boy, what a c.v. I've built myself, huh? Anyway, details after the jump, as per usual.

This time we go to Singapore, where Liaoning Guangyuan (that's a team) forward Zhao Zhipeng had his court sentence reduced from seven to five months on appeal. He was convicted of accepting a $2700 bribe from his manager to help the team lose a match by at least three goals. That's right, the manager, Wang Xin, wanted his team to get a Paul Jewell-esque result.

In fact, Wang Xin was charged with offering bribes to all of his players on that day, and seven are charged with having accepted. Which makes Zhao Zhipeng's winning defense curious. Supposedly the manager was a fearsome beast and the player had no choice but to accept. Okay, fine. But what about the players who did not accept? Were they made of stronger mettle than the accused? I doubt it. At least four players are said to have refused. The formerly internationally fearsome Singaporean court system rolled over on this one, it would appear.

Wang Xin, for his part, was also arrested, but has skipped bail. Presumably, he has gone back to China, where authorities will have a hard time finding him, because, as everyone knows, all those guys look alike. Right?

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