Ex China Boss Li Tie Has Been Sentenced To Life In Prison Over Bribe And Match-fixing

Former Everton star Li Tie has been sentenced to life in prison after confessing to paying bribes and match-fixing, according to reports in China.

The bribing charges relate to Li's reign as China manager between 2019-21.

The Chinese public prosecutor accused Li of "accepting and offering bribes" during their crackdown on corruption in football.

And he has now been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the scandal, reports China-based author Mark Dreyer.

Li, 46, confessed to paying £330,000 in bribes to become manager of the Chinese national team.

He also admitted to playing a role in a match-fixing scandal to win promotions while in charge of Hebei China Fortuna and Wuhan Zall.

Li said in a statement as cited by Sports Central: "I'm very sorry. I should have kept my head to the ground and followed the right path. There were certain things that at the time were common practices in football. "By gaining 'success' through such improper means, it actually made me more and more impatient and eager for quick results. "In order to achieve good performance, I resorted to influencing referees, bribing opposing players and coaches, sometimes through clubs dealing with other clubs. "This behaviour becomes a habit, and eventually, there is even a slight dependence on these practices."

Li played for Everton between 2002-2006 and initially made 33 appearances on loan at the Toffees.

He made a further seven appearances after the club made his stay permanent in 2003 for a fee of £1.2m, before leaving to join Sheffield United.

The former China international, who won 92 caps for his country, played for the Blades just once before returning to China, joining Chengdu Blades and later Liaoning Whowin.

Li retired in 2011 and took up his first managerial job four years later with Hebei China Fortune, winning promotion during his only season in charge.

He then spent three years in charge of Wuhan Zall before becoming manager of the China national team in 2019, where he won six of 13 games in charge.

The former star was widely considered as one of his country's greatest talents when he joined Everton back in 2002.

But his playing career was damaged by injuries after he broke his leg while on international duty for China in 2004.

His now controversial time as boss of his country saw him take charge of the Dragons as caretaker coach after Marcello Lippi resigned in 2019.

After just three games at the helm of the team he was given the job permanently which he held until December 2021, overseeing a further 10 matches as boss.

During his 13 games in charge of the national side he managed six wins, two draws and five draws.