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China jails ex-World Cup ref for fixing matches

February 16, 2012
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BEIJING—China's state news agency says a former World Cup referee is among nine people who have been sentenced to up to seven years in jail for bribery and soccer match fixing.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that a court in northeast China gave Lu Jun 5 1/2 years in jail for taking about nearly $130,000 to fix seven league matches. Lu is China's best known referee after he was in charge of two games at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

Three other referees and five company and soccer association officials were fined or sentenced to up to seven years for match fixing.

China has launched a crackdown in recent years to try to cut out the rampant corruption in its professional leagues.

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