BEIJING: The head of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) has been taken in for questioning by police in a crackdown on matchfixing in the country's troubled professional game, local media reported on Thursday.
Nan Yong, who took over as head of the CFA one year ago, was taken away by a police investigative group who were probing a series of matchfixing scandals, the Soccer News said, citing CFA sources.
CFA vice president Yang Yimin and Zhang Jianqiang, who was formerly in charge of referee arrangements, were also taken in by police, the newspaper added. Zhang now oversees women's soccer at the CFA.
The paper did not say whether they had been formally arrested but said they were still in police custody.
Jia Xiuquan, former head coach of Chinese Super League (CSL) club Shanghai Shenhua, was also questioned by police, the Beijing Times said on Thursday.
The CFA has cancelled at least two meetings which were to be attended by Nan and Yang, while arranging other officials to take charge of their jobs, the Soccer News said.
Nobody at the CFA was immediately available to comment.
At least 21 officials, players and club managers, including Xu Hongtao, the president of Chengdu Blades, owned by England's Sheffield United, have been arrested or detained in the past two months on suspicion of matchfixing or gambling, which is illegal in China.
A local court sentenced former Liaoning player Lu Dong to jail for three years for gambling, the Beijing News said on Thursday. Lu Dong was not involved in matchfixing.
The probe into matchfixing followed a string of comments in recent months by top Communist Party officials on the need to clean up the men's professional game in China, which is widely perceived as being riven with corruption.