Investigation threatens to plunge Belgian football into chaos

The on-going criminal investigation launched by the judicial authorities on Wednesday threatens to plunge Belgian football into complete chaos. The Pro League that is made up of the clubs that play in Belgium’s two professional leagues (1A and 1B) and the Belgian Football Association have decided to cancel all the four matches that were due to played in league 1B (the second division) this weekend.

 With Belgium’s national team the Red Devils being in action this weekend, no 1A (first division) matches were planned for this weekend anyway.

The decision was taken in order to prevent issues arising with supporters, particular those that follow KV Mechelen, the club that is heavily implicated in the investigation into match fixing, money laundering and fiscal fraud. Two of KV Mechelen’s board members have been detained as part of the investigation. The rest of the board has distanced itself from two.

It is still highly uncertain as to what if any will be the future for the club that was the last ever Belgian club to win a European trophy, the European Cup Winners Cup (and the Super Cup) in 1988.

First Division Waasland-Beveren too is implicated. Several of its board member are suspected of involvement match fixing at the end of last season. If their involvement is proven it could lead to Waasland-Beveren being relegated regardless of where the finish in the league at the end of the season.  

Club Brugge stand by their coach

The league champions Club Brugge have said in a press statement that they still have confidence in their coach Ivan Leko. Ivan Leko was among those detained for questioning on Wednesday. He was released unconditionally on Thursday afternoon.

However, he is suspected of laundering and is the subject of an investigation by the judicial authorities. Ivan Leko’s

Meanwhile, Examining Magistrate decided on Thursday night that the prime suspects in the case the football agents Mogi Bayat and Dejan Veljkovic will remain in custody as will the top referee Bart Vertenten. On Thursday the Pro League announced that Mr Vertenten and another one of Belgium’s top referees Sebastien Delfière will no longer be allowed to officiate at football matches in Belgium.