The former head of China's top football body Chen Xuyuan is to stand trial for bribery on Monday, Beijing's state media said, as an anti-corruption drive sweeps up once-major players in the sport.
|The former head of China's top football body Chen Xuyuan, Source: youtube.com
Chen -- who as boss of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) once promised to turn a page on the corruption scandals that have plagued the sport -- was placed under investigation last February for "serious violations of discipline and the law".
Chen was indicted in September for corruption, confessing in the TV documentary to having accepted large sums from those wishing to get in his good graces.
This month he appeared in a televised documentary in which former Chinese national football team coach Li Tie said he paid Chen two million yuan ($278,600) in bribes to secure the top job.
"Fans can accept the fact that the state of Chinese football is bad," Chen said.
"But they cannot forgive corruption," he said.
"I would like to deeply apologise to all Chinese fans."
Football fan President Xi Jinping once said he wanted China not only to host the World Cup, but win it.
But that goal appears further away than ever after a corruption probe and the national team's worst Asian Cup performance in history this month.
Around 10 senior leaders and executives of the CFA have also been brought down in recent years, including Chen.
He goes on trial Monday at the Intermediate People's Court of Huangshi City in central China's Hubei Province, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing the court.