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Former Premier League player 'sentenced to life in prison' after TV confession

Former Premier League player 'sentenced to life in prison' after TV confession

He has been sentenced to life in prison.

A former Premier League player has been sentenced to life in prison, according to reports.

Reports in China have claimed Li Tie, who spent four years at Everton between 2002 and 2006, has been sentenced to life in prison.

During a crackdown on corruption in football, the Chinese public prosecutor accused Li of "accepting and offering bribes" between 2019 and 2021.

The 46-year-old reportedly confessed to paying £330,000 in bribes to become manager of the Chinese national team, while he admitted to playing a role in a match-fixing scandal to win promotions while in charge of Hebei China Fortuna and Wuhan Zall.

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

Li said in a statement via the Sun: "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 won six of his 12 games as China boss (Getty)
Li won six of his 12 games as China boss (Getty)

Li made 40 appearances for Everton before joining Sheffield United in 2006, only to play just once for the Blades.

The midfielder, who claimed 92 international caps, then returned to China, joining Chengdu Blades and later Liaoning Whowin before retiring in 2011.

Li’s first managerial job came in 2015, when he took the reigns at 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 half of 12 games in charge.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Premier League, Everton