— Published 27 September 2023

Football taken to the head

China is continuing to clean up its national sports leaders. The aim is to weed out the most corrupt. On Tuesday 26 September, the Hubei provincial procuratorate announced that it had indicted the former president of the Football Association. Chen Xuyuan is accused of accepting bribes “of a particularly large amount“. He had been under investigation since last February on suspicion of “serious violations of discipline and the law“. This charge is not the first in Chinese football. And it may not even be the last, according to observers. The anti-corruption campaign launched by the Chinese authorities had already brought down two heads before that of Chen Xuyuan: the president of the professional league, Liu Jun, and the former coach of the national team, Li Tie. Chen Xuyuan became president of the Chinese Football Association in 2019.