Friday, April 24, 2009

CHINA SCHOOL ADMITS FOOTBALL SCAM

China map

A Chinese principal has admitted that the school football team which won an international contest was stuffed with national squad players.

Only three of the players actually attended Daping high school for girls in the south-western city of Chongqing, Chinese media said.

Principal Zhang Jianling has now made a public apology for the scandal.

The team won the trophy 12 days ago, beating a German team in the final. Officials say they will hand it back.

According to International School Sport Federation rules, all players taking part in the tournament must be enrolled at the school they are representing.

Reports said the team had been stacked with players from the national youth team and other top teams.

Mr Zhang, who faces disciplinary action, initially denied cheating, the China Daily newspaper said, but had now taken full responsibility.

"In order to have a best result in the tournament, we used other members in the team without making it known to superior government and the public," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"What we have done goes against sportsmanship and has undermined the image of our city as well as soccer's development in China.

"We sincerely apologise for what we have done."

Chinese sport has been hit by numerous allegations of cheating through falsification of credentials.

Bone tests on teenage athletes in Guangdong province in March found that more than 3,000 were older than their registered age.

And at last year's Olympics in Beijing, some of China's gold-winning gymnasts were alleged to be below the minimum age of 16, though they were later cleared of any wrongdoing.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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