Gaming Commission launches investigation into national men’s hockey team

The Gaming Commission has launched an investigation into allegations of illegal gambling by member of our national men’s hockey team the Red Lions during the 2018 FIH Hockey World Cup in India. The Belgian Hockey Federation has confirmed that an investigation is under way in a statement given to the press agency Belga. Our men’s team won the World Cup after an exciting shoot out at the end of a goalless final against The Netherlands. 

The Francophone dailies ‘La Dernière Heure’ and ‘La Libre’ first broke the story that our hockey men are being investigated. The Belgian Hockey Federation confirms that the Gaming Commission has been in touch.  

"We are currently at the stage where the Gaming Commission is collecting information. Contrary to the newspaper reports this is not a police investigation”, the Belgian Hockey Federation’s Director of Marketing and Communication Denis Van Damme told VRT Sport.   

"We have responded to the request made by the afore mentioned commission to provide copies of the team sheets from the World Cup in India”.   

Despite the Hockey Federation’s denial, VRT Sport has it on good authority that a police investigation has been launched. However, it is still in its infancy. The Hockey Federation will offer its full cooperation to any criminal investigation that might be launched.  

"Of course we will cooperate fully with the relevant authorities”, Mr Van Damme added. He also stressed that all the players that were in India knew that they were not allowed to bet on matches involving Belgium or any other country competing at the tournament.  

"We have contacted them and asked them if they had partaken in online gambling. None of them replied in the affirmative. The question now arises of whether the ban also applies to a member of the team that wasn’t selected or even for a member of the staff that wasn’t on thee team sheet”.