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24th Feb 2024

Ex-Everton player facing life in prison after TV confession

Callum Boyle

He confessed live on TV.

Former Everton defender Li Te is facing a life sentence in prison for corruption.

His case is in relation to his brief spell as manager of the Chinese national team between 2019 until late 2021.

China’s public prosecutor accused Li accepting and offering bribes – which he confessed live on national television in China.

He admitted to paying £330,000 in bribes to become manager of the Chinese national team.

Additionally, the midfielder confessed to being part of a match-fixing scandal that saw Hebei China Fortuna and Wuhan Zall both promoted while in charge of them.

China sports insider Mark Dreyer reported on Friday: “Not yet officially announced, but reports coming out saying former Everton and China player Li Tie has been sentenced to LIFE in prison for his role in China’s latest corruption investigation. 15 years for CFA President Chen Xuyuan and 13 years for top sports official Du Zhaocai.”

In his statement live on TV, Li said: “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 spent four years at Goodison Park between 2002 and 2006, making an initial 33 appearances in a loan spell before joining permanently the following year.

That wouldn’t prove to be overly successful as he only featured seven more times before leaving to join Sheffield United.

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