Former Everton player’sentenced to LIFE in jail’ for corruption and match rigging

According to, former Everton footballer Li Tie has been sentenced to life in jail in his home China for corruption. Li played 33 games for Everton while on loan from Chinese club Liaoning in 2002-03, and seven appearances the following season after signing permanently.

The defensive midfielder briefly played for Sheffield United before suffering injuries after fracturing his leg while on international duty in February 2004. Li completed his career in China, where he served as manager of the national team from 2019 to 2021.

A year after Li departed that position, the Chinese public prosecutor issued a bombshell statement claiming that he was’suspected of taking and soliciting bribes’ as part of a massive crackdown on sports corruption. Li admitted to paying 3 million yuan (£330,000) in bribery to become national team coach in a live confession on official broadcaster CCTV.

He also admitted to being involved in a match-fixing scheme to help his club teams achieve promotions. Li apologised: ‘I’m extremely sorry. I should have kept my head down and followed the correct course. There were certain prevalent football practices at the time.

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According to Mark Dreyer, a China-based writer and novelist, Li has been sentenced to life in jail for his part in the incident. Chen Xuyuan, the former chairman of the Chinese Football Association, has received a 15-year prison term for bribery, according to Dreyer.

Li admits to successfully rigging matches while coaching Hebei China Fortune and Wuhan Zall. The latter were promoted from China League One as winners in 2018.

In his broadcast address, he continued, ‘By gaining’success’ through such unlawful ways, it really made me more and more anxious and hungry for rapid results.’To obtain good results, I used to influence referees and bribe opposition players and coaches, sometimes through clubs interacting with other clubs.

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