Snooker match-fixing investigation – 10 Chinese gamers charged by WPBSA

Liang Wenbo, Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong

Ten Chinese gamers face match-fixing fees as snooker’s governing physique investigates the game’s largest corruption scandal.

The allegations embody manipulating video games, approaching gamers to cheat, betting on snooker and fixing a match.

In October, Liang Wenbo was suspended by the World Skilled Billiards and Snooker Affiliation (WPBSA).

9 others adopted, together with 2021 Masters champion Yan Bingtao and UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong.

Each gamers had been barred from competing in final week’s Masters.

Gamers discovered responsible of the fees in opposition to them will face a prolonged ban from the game.

A lot of the gamers haven’t commented publicly on the allegations, though Wenbo has reportedly denied match-fixing.

An impartial listening to will now be convened to think about the proof.

There may be not a separate police investigation at this stage.

“These players are from China. At some point, if found guilty, they will return to their home country and it is still possible that criminal prosecution could take place outside of the sport in China,” WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson informed BBC Sport.

What are the fees?

Liang Wenbo – Age: 35 Rating (Jan 2023): 56. Finalist in 2015 UK Championship

Charged with caring in fixing matches and approaching gamers to repair matches on the World Snooker Tour, in search of to impede the WPBSA investigation and failing to cooperate with the investigation.

Li Cling – Age: 32 Rating: 64.

Charged with caring in fixing matches and approaching gamers to repair matches, in search of to impede the investigation and betting on snooker matches.

Lu Ning – Age: 29 Rating: 46. Semi-finalist on the 2020 UK Championship.

Charged with fixing a match and caring in fixing matches and approaching a participant to repair a match, in search of to impede the investigation and betting on snooker matches.

Yan Bingtao – Age: 22 Rating: 16. First participant born in 12 months 2000 to show skilled, received 2021 Masters.

Charged with fixing matches and betting on snooker.

Zhao Xintong – Age: 25 Rating: 9. Received 2021 UK Championship and 2022 German Masters.

Charged with caring in fixing matches and betting on snooker.

Zhang Jiankang – Age: 24. Rating: 82.

Charged with fixing a match, failing to report approaches for him to repair matches and betting on snooker matches.

Chen Zifan – Age: 27. Rating: 93.

Charged with fixing matches.

Chang Bingyu – Age: 20 Rating: 77.

Charged with fixing a match.

Zhao Jianbo – Age: 19 Rating: Beginner.

Charged with fixing a match.

Bai Langning – Age: 20. Rating: 126.

Charged with caring in fixing a match.

Expenses of ‘caring in fixing’ relate to matches a participant didn’t play in.

What occurs subsequent?

The WPBSA mentioned it had concluded the gamers had a case to reply after an investigation by its integrity unit, working carefully with the sports activities expertise firm Sportradar, which screens betting.

“The players are currently suspended from attending and competing on the World Snooker Tour and in other WPBSA governed events until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter,” mentioned a press release,

“This matter will be referred to a formal hearing before an independent disciplinary tribunal that will take place at a venue and on a date to be confirmed.”

Chairman Ferguson mentioned he was assured tournaments would ultimately resume in China, the place they’d been suspended for the reason that Covid-19 pandemic.

“The whole process has been very upsetting and potentially life changing for people,” he mentioned.

“It’s very damaging but I do think the damage is short term. We have to deliver world-class live entertainment and know the sport is clean. We will move on.

“China are standing alongside us, we’re working with our companions there. They’re very disillusioned, however the sport is far stronger than this.

“It’s a big commercial market for snooker. Despite this ongoing issue, the mood about our events is very positive. Our return to China is inevitable.”

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