China’s top disciplinary agency on Thursday disclosed several corruption cases involving young officials and football gambling, as a move to strengthen the education of young officials from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and as a reminder to eradicate gambling. Public security departments in several regions have issued messages urging netizens to stay away from online gambling amid the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
There is still a long way to go to eradicate the existence of unhealthy practices such as football gambling and strengthen the education and oversight of young CPC officials, according to a post on the official website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China and the National Supervisory Commission.
The public security department in South China’s Guangdong Province reminded all the football fans not to take part in any online gambling via its official Weibo account on Thursday, and called on a healthy lifestyle for all the football fans amid the ongoing World Cup.
The post listed four young officials involved in football gambling including two who were born after 1980s and two after 1990s. Chen Ke, a local policeman from Nanning in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was sentenced to 28 months in prison and fined 150,000 yuan ($20,983) for taking bribes.
Chen’s violation of law and regulations started from the World Cup in 2014 when he began to play online gambling, leading him bearing huge gambling debts.
Another young official Zhong Yaozhen, who was born after 1990s, started gambling when he was studying at the college. Zhong owed nearly 20 million yuan in debts from online gambling, and nearly two packs of A4 paper have been used to print his account book.
Some young officials not only participate in online gambling, but also become the organizers of on-site gambling, and even make profits by helping gambling websites attract gamblers, according to the post.
Zhang Yu, a former local official from Southwest China’s Yunnan Province was expelled from the Party in April this year and the amount of gambling involved reached more than 190,000 yuan. In March, Li Gaofeng, another one who was born in 1994 was sentenced to 38 months in prison and fined 160,000 yuan for corruption and running a casino.
“Football is one of the most influential sports in China and is welcomed by most people. But football gambling completely goes against the essence of football and violates laws and regulations,” Yan Zhanhe, an official from the Chinese Football Association was quoted as saying, according to the post. “As an industry association, we also call on the whole society to jointly resist gambling and other unhealthy practices, to purify the football environment together, and jointly create a clean and positive environment for the football development.”