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Chinese Soccer Ref may face Death Penalty

Chinese Football Association (CFA) soccer chief Wei Di was "shocked" and "hurt" by the arrest of World Cup referee Lu Jun in the ongoing probe into match-fixing in the domestic game.
Lu, who officiated in two matches at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, was dubbed the "golden whistle" for his supposed integrity when China was in the thrall of the earlier "black whistles" scandal some eight years ago.

"I was really shocked and hurt when Lu's name cropped up in the scandal," Wei told Soccer News. "He is undoubtedly a first-rate referee in terms of working ability, but his morals are a far cry from his 'golden whistle' reputation."

One of three referees arrested in the last week, Lu faces punishments ranging from an administrative sanction to the death penalty, depending on the amount of money involved, if he is found guilty of having accepted bribes as a public servant. The others arrested were 45-year-old Guangzhou official Zhou Weixin, who like Lu was retired, and Huang Junjie, an active FIFA international referee since 1998.

Huang, 43, has taken charge of several internationals, including World Cup qualifiers involving Japan and Saudi Arabia.

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