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Illegal Gambling In China under Fire 2006-04-24
Mohammed bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation issued a statement warning against illegal gambling on football in China, saying that illegal gambling is a stain on Asian football and urged the government in Beijing to take steps to stop it.
Hammam reportedly stated that fighting illegal football gambling is too big a project to be left entirely in the hands of national associations, and government intervention is required to place limits on the offenders by passing the appropriate laws and expending effort to enforce them.
Corruption has long plagued the Chinese football league, with many underground gambling rings pushing players, coaches and referees to fix matches in the Super League. This almost led to the collapse of the league in its first season when a large number of clubs threatened to abandon matches.
Chinese Sports Minister Liu Peng will meet in Beijing with Hamman to discuss the issue of football in China. Peng reportedly commented that betting needed to be legalised and heavily regulated before the problem could be brought under control.
Peng went on to say that the regulation of betting on the sport could easily see revenues being funnelled back into developing football amongst communities.
(By Ela)