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A hit a long time


A hit a long time

Just as in the affair-Bellemans early 80’s causing a cascade of Belgian football to its foundations. The potential consequences are enormous.

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A hit a long time

Just as in the affair-Bellemans early 80’s causing a cascade of Belgian football to its foundations. The potential consequences are enormous.

3 questions

‘Competition can’t be stopped’

Read more below

Nico Tanghe

Brussels The large-scale politieactie, where yesterday all together less than 220 police officers were involved, reminds strongly of the corruption-scandal that the Belgian football in the early 80 upside down. But then even bigger. On the top of the 44 homes in their own country, in Anderlecht, Club Brugge, AA Gent, Racing Genk, Standard, KV Oostende, Kortrijk, KV Mechelen and Lokeren, there were also thirteen in foreign countries (in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia). Further, there were also visits to the home carried out with ex-lawyers and jewelers, and two journalists as witnesses answered.

Almost 35 years ago ended up with the Brussels investigating judge Guy Bellemans in a search for a zwartgeldcircuit also in the back rooms of the Belgian professional football. Just as we hit the court, and even then, in the investigation of large-scale tax fraud all traces of matchfixing.


The most important differences? The current fraud focuses not on clubleiders, but on the almighty players ‘ agents. In addition, there are these once strong indications that the degradatiestrijd in the Jupiler Pro League at the end of last season was manipulated, including the match between KV Mechelen and Waasland-Beveren – while, at the time, only went to the championship swim meet between Standard and Waterschei in 1981-’82.

In contrast to the affair-Bellemans focuses the current research focused on individuals and not the clubs themselves

That coach Raymond Goethals when joined with Standard president Roger Petit captain Eric Gerets had turned on to via winstpremies which game to buy, was only a few seasons later (in 1984). Also went to the court very carefully worldwide. For example, by the searches and interrogations to plan during a interlandweek, when the league football interrupted. That gave the officers extra time to the hoofdbetrokkenen firmly attached to the tooth to feel.

In contrast to the current operation Clean Hands were the most involved players in the Bellemans affair was on the train with the national team. Gerets, for example, that his friend Roland Janssen had approached, was the day for a friendly against West Germany by the Special Opsporingsbrigade (PDO) of the training picked.

Zheyun Ye

It was the beginning of a huge fraud cases, like the gokaffaire around the Chinese Zheyun Ye almost twenty years later. That seems to be these times that is not otherwise to be. Again threatens the football is a huge blow. With the important difference that there is now no Red Devils involved in the investigation seem. Neither Veljkovic, nor Bayat have that kind of Belgian top players – who these days mostly in foreign leagues – in their portfolio. And that also the gokmaffia outside shot remains.

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Operation ‘Clean Hands’ has clearly intended to make the augiasstal of the makelaarswereld – commissions, salaries and other remunerations often out of sight of the tax authorities – which is thoroughly to muck out. But the biggest bomb under us soccer is perhaps possible also two topscheidsrechters in matchfixing involved.

Potential is a huge blow to the credibility of our football. Add to this the possible involvement of big names in the trainers and managerswereld, among whom ex-Anderlecht-manager Herman Van leuven luc van wassenhoven and current Club Brugge coach Ivan Leko (a good friend of Dejan Veljkovic, ed.), and you understand that this has far-reaching consequences.

Headless Devils

How heavy the consequences will be, remains to be seen. Although it is striking that operation Clean Hands and focuses on individuals – players, coaches and agents) and not on the football clubs themselves. 35 years ago, settled a lot of clubs, including Anderlecht, tax fraud, ultimately, the tax authorities, which especially sports consequences. Eric Gerets, who in 1983 to the Italian winner AC Milan was transferred, was there at the door. The right back was initially for a three-year suspension, later reduced to one year. Also trainer Raymond Goethals and chairman Roger Petit, just like just about the whole kampioensploeg of Standard, were given suspensions imposed. Only Arie Haan, China ‘fled’, empire, ultimately, his punishment.

Toparbiters that may be involved, leuven luc van wassenhoven
and Leko who answered: the damage
can be huge

At the european CHAMPIONSHIPS in France would be the headless Red Devils – without Gerets and Meeuws – in 1984 outgunned be turned off in the first round. But especially Standard received a blow that long nazinderde. The Rouches saw their best players leave and would have 25 years to wait for a new title.

3 questions

‘Competition can’t be stopped’

1. Is the league now discontinued?

No. At least not if the Pro League is. The association of clubs got today no question within the league temporarily suspend – that was here and there asserted, but the Pro League to eight a stop of the competition on the question of the clubs is not realistic. “The competition can’t be stopped: that would be too much to cause problems,” says Pierre François, ceo of the Pro League. “This is first and foremost a business around people, not around clubs or leagues.’

2. Can the clubs be penalised?

“That is perfectly possible,” says Sven Demeulemeester, partner at law firm Altius. ‘A club can, as a legal person subject to criminal penalties if certain conditions are met.’ Those conditions can be very light: a club without knowing the benefits of money laundering can be ‘objectively responsible’ be held and can thus be punished. “For matchfixing, this is less obvious, but it is also possible,” says Demeulemeester.

3. Are there enough referees to the match, whistling to?

The league is still for two weeks, but without Sébastien Delferière, Bart Vertenten and the test failed Frederik Geldhof shoot there yet but fourteen refs in 1A. Refs that are in addition to the eight races also occur as the fourth ref or videoref. ‘It has already happened that referees are multiple matches per weekend, ” says scheidsrechtersbaas Johan Verbist. ‘That’s no problem. But, qualitatively and quantitatively, you can’t just replace.”

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