Former Everton star Li Tie faces prison after allegedly committing serious offences

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
3 Min Read

Li Tie, the former football midfielder who represented Everton in the Premier League and played in the 2002 World Cup, has been charged with suspected bribery. The accusations surfaced in November last year when state prosecutors announced “serious violations of the law.” Following a comprehensive investigation in the central Chinese province of Hubei, formal charges have been filed against him.

Li Tie had a remarkable football career, earning over 90 caps for the Chinese national team and playing in the 2002 World Cup. His move to Everton from Liaoning FC in 2002 made headlines, and he spent four successful years at Goodison Park, playing alongside stars like Wayne Rooney and Duncan Ferguson. Subsequently, he had two more years in England with Sheffield United before returning to China to play for Chengdu Blades in 2008. His impressive track record led him to become the head coach of the Chinese national team in 2020. However, he faced challenges during the World Cup qualifying campaign and decided to step down.

Li Tie’s case comes amidst a broader crackdown on alleged corruption in Chinese football. Earlier, in January, Chinese Football Association (CFA) executives Chen Yongliang and Liu Yi were placed under investigation for suspected severe violations of the law. The focus on tackling corruption has intensified, leading to further arrests and detentions, such as that of South Korea’s Son Jun-ho, who plays for Shandong Taishan in China, for suspected bribery.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s top prosecution agency, has stated the charges against Li Tie. They include allegations of accepting bribes, offering bribes at the unit, accepting bribes from non-state employees, and offering bribes to non-state employees. These severe accusations have tarnished the reputation of a player who once donned the jersey of one of England’s prominent clubs.

Li Tie went into management after retiring from football but now faces serious charges

The recent charges against Li Tie are one of the latest in a crackdown on corruption. His alleged involvement in bribery has cast a shadow over his football career and raised serious concerns about corruption within the sport. As the legal proceedings unfold, we wait to see the outcome.

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