A new top leadership for China’s Football Association was announced on Monday, state media reported, following a corruption probe involving some of the country’s biggest names in the sport.
Song Kai, a former member of the Liaoning Province Sports Bureau, will become the new CFA president, according to a short article in the People’s Daily newspaper.
The CFA also elected a new executive committee at the same meeting in Beijing.
Song’s predecessor, Chen Xuyuan, was formally charged in September with “accepting bribes.”
In February, an investigation into Chen was announced by the government’s sports body, which accused him at the time of “serious violations of discipline and the law.”
Former national coach Li Tie was accused of corruption in August.
Fighting corruption has long been a central theme of President Xi Jinping’s rule, with the Chinese leader waging a sweeping campaign since taking office that critics say is helping him purge political rivals.
Xi has described himself as a football fan and said he dreams of China one day hosting and winning a World Cup.
But after a boom period in which Chinese top league clubs signed foreign stars for exorbitant fees, many teams fell on hard times and several – including former champions Jiangsu FC – went bankrupt.
At Monday’s meeting, Song said the CFA would “be more united, work harder and become more open, pure and courageous,” according to Chinese media.
“It will take China’s football reform and development to a new level step by step,” he said.