Big promotion party at KV Mechelen overshadowed

In football, KV Mechelen have gained promotion to the top flight after moving past Beerschot-Wilrijk in a double play-off game. The victory triggered a major party in Mechelen, but supporters remained cautious, because the club could still be punished in a matchfixing case. 

KV Mechelen and Beerschot-Wilrijk, two clubs with a long tradition in Belgian football, had to battle it out for the ticket to the top flight. The two best teams of the first division played two tense games: the first leg at Beerschot remained 0-0, but KV Mechelen took it 2-1 at home yesterday.

Beerschot had been virtual winners until deep in the game at 1-all, but lost it all in the end, just like last season at Cercle Brugge, when Clément Tainmont made it 2-1 for 'Malinwa' in the dying minutes of the game. 

The late goal was the start of a long party in and around the Mechelen stadium, but supporters realised that nothing is for sure: KV Mechelen could be facing punishment (automatic relegation) if the Belgian FA finds them guilty in a matchfixing case. KV Mechelen may have bribed opponents Waasland-Beveren to stay in the top flight last season. Last week, the judicial authorities passed on part of the dossier to the Football Association, which can decide about a separate sanction independently.