Snooker match-fixing investigation: WPBSA charges 10 Chinese players

Ten Chinese players are accused of rigging matches as the regulatory body of snooker looks into the largest corruption scandal in the history of the game.

The accusations include game manipulation, approaching players to cheat, snooker betting, and match fixing.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association banned Liang Wenbo in October (WPBSA).

Nine more players came after, including Zhao Xintong, who won the UK Championship, and Yan Bingtao, who won the 2021 Masters.

The Masters last week was off limits to both players.

If proven guilty of the allegations, players will be suspended from the sport for a significant amount of time.

Although Wenbo apparently denied match-fixing, the majority of the players have not made any public statements regarding the accusations.

The evidence will now be taken into consideration at a separate hearing.

At this time, there isn’t a separate police inquiry.


“These athletes are Chinese. When they eventually return to their home country after being found guilty, there is still a chance that they could face criminal charges unrelated to the sport in China “Jason Ferguson, the WPBSA’s chairman, said BBC Sport.

The 2005 world champion, Shaun Murphy, stated that cheating by players would seem like a “total betrayal.”

After defeating Ali Carter 4-0 in the World Grand Prix opening round in Cheltenham, he commented, “I think we shouldn’t ever see players who are found guilty of rigging the outcomes of snooker matches on the tour again.”

What fees are involved?

Liang Wenbo, age 35, ranking 56 as of January 2023, finished third in the 2015 UK Championship.

charged with trying to obstruct the WPBSA investigation and failing to comply, as well as being concerned about fixing matches and soliciting players to rig matches on the World Snooker Tour.

Li Hang, 32 years old Number 64.

charged with trying to impede the inquiry, being involved in match fixing, soliciting players to rig matches, and placing bets on snooker matches.

Lu Ning, 29 years old Semifinalist at the 2020 UK Championship; 46th place.

accused of manipulating a match, participating in match fixing, asking a player to fix a match, attempting to obstruct the inquiry, and placing bets on snooker matches.

Yan Bingtao, age 22, is ranked sixteenth. The 2021 Masters was won by the first professional born in 2000.

accused of snooker betting and match manipulation.

Zhao Xintong, age 25, is ranked 9. He won the German Masters in 2022 and the UK Championship in 2021.

accused of being involved in snooker betting and match manipulation.

Zhang Jiankang is 24 years old. Position: 82.

He was accused of betting on snooker matches, failing to report attempts to manipulate matches, and fixing a match.

Chen Zifan, 27 years old. Position: 93.

accused of rigging games.

Chang Bingyu, age 20, is ranked 77th.

accused of arranging a meeting.

Zhao Jianbo, age 19, is listed as an amateur.

accused of arranging a meeting.

B. A. Langning – Age: 20. Position: 126.

accused of being involved in match-fixing.

Charges of “being concerned in rigging” are related to games in which the accused player did not participate.

What follows is what?
The WPBSA stated that following an examination by its integrity unit, which closely cooperated with the sports technology company Sportradar, which monitors betting, it had come to the conclusion that the players had a case to answer.

Until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the resolution of this case, the players are temporarily barred from participating in and attending World Snooker Tour events as well as other WPBSA-governed competitions, according to a statement.

This matter will be brought before an independent disciplinary panel in a formal hearing that will occur at a location and on a date that will be made official.

Chairman Ferguson expressed his optimism that competitions, which had been put on hold in China because to the Covid-19 outbreak, will ultimately start up again.

“The entire process has been quite upsetting and may change people’s lives,” he said.

“Although it’s really harmful, I believe the harm is only temporary. We must provide top-notch live entertainment and guarantee that the sport is law-abiding. We shall proceed.

“We have China’s support and are cooperating with their partners. Although they are extremely disappointed, the sport is far more resilient than this.

“Snooker has a sizable business market. Despite this problem, people are really enthusiastic about our activities. We have to go back to China.”

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