BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Public Security and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) have vowed to make joint efforts to cut down on football-related gambling and fraud in the long run, encouraging public whistleblowers to provide clues.
"Football gambling is a tumor that has been plaguing China's soccer development. It's a matter of life and death for our soccer leagues," an unnamed CFA official said at a Friday meeting.
According to the official, the CFA will offer significant rewards for public whistleblowers, as well as establish a special fund to support police investigations of such cases.
The statements came one day after eight football officials and players were sentenced to jail for their involvement in a match-fixing and gambling scandal exposed two years ago. Two former vice chairmen of the CFA, Nan Yong and Xie Yalong, were each given sentences of 10 years and six months.
At Thursday's meeting, Liu Shaowu, head of the security administration bureau under the ministry, said the bureau will stay on high alert for any clues leading to football fraud while cooperating with international forces to crack down on transnational football-related crime.
"It is of pivotal importance to ensure order in football venues, as well as the safety of audiences. The ministry will continue to cooperate with local sports departments to intensify investigations of violations," said Liu.
Under the current system, the CFA runs the country's professional leagues and supervises its own operations, which is regarded by many as the main cause of corruption in the leagues.