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‘They that sin will be punished’

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Interview Peter Bossaert, ceo of the Belgian football association

‘They that sin will be punished’

Six months after his arrival continues Peter Bossaert fight against many of the old demons at the football association. Ranging from matchfixing and black money to the omnipotence of the agents. But there is also hope. ‘The new stadium should be a showcase for our country.’

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Peter Bossaert want, any disciplinary penalties in the matchfixing case for June 30 to be pronounced. “We are going to do everything to achieve that.’ Kristof Vadino

Interview Peter Bossaert, ceo of the Belgian football association

‘They that sin will be punished’

Six months after his arrival continues Peter Bossaert fight against many of the old demons at the football association. Ranging from matchfixing and black money to the omnipotence of the agents. But there is also hope. ‘The new stadium should be a showcase for our country.’

Nico Tanghe

BrusselHoe serious are the plans of ceo Peter Bossaert to clean up in the Belgian football? Or is it just wait for the next scandal? With that question in mind, we pulled into the federal building on the Houba de Strooperlaan in Brussels, which will be exchanged for a brand new headquarters near the training centre of the Red Devils in Tubize.

Bossaert, who in september joined the Royal Belgian Football association (belgian football association), and in the heyday of Operation Clean Hands to have a elfpuntenprogramma proposed to the Belgian football drastically to reform came last month with the announced renovation of the King baudouin stadium for the first time really out of the shadows.

Sporting credibility

But there remains a lot of work on the shelf. Six months after his appointment, the thunderstorm clouds above the Belgian football is still not disappeared. On the contrary. As it looks now, KV Mechelen and Waasland-Beveren may be heavy in the wrong around that last game of the regular season last season. According to the public prosecutor’s office and the now largely leaked phone calls by board members of KV Mechelen attempts have been made to the competition to distort. Whether successful or not, may not matter. The possible punishment for this is degradation. What undoubtedly makes for nervousness at the football association. Nothing less than the sporting credibility of the Belgian football is on the game. Fortunately, the sporting success of the Red Devils much good.

“This generation of Devils should ever win an award, of course. The icing on the cake’

Peter Bossaert

ceo royal belgian football association

Let’s start with the Devils. The start in the kwalificatiepoule for the EK was spotless: 6 on 6 against Russia and Cyprus, with the fingers in the nose. The qualification for the european CHAMPIONSHIP seems to be within.

(gently) ‘The qualification is, of course, not within. We are only two matches away. But of course, it is a fine establishment that this unique generation of players once again clearly is to charge for the european CHAMPIONSHIPS. And that is important, because this generation should ever win an award, of course. The icing on the cake. And then these six points are a great first step.

Is the EK 2020 for this generation, the tournament of the last chance?

“No, certainly not. Our horizon is much further. There is a lot of new talent (Tielemans, Dendoncker, Thorgan Hazard, ed.) on arrival. Talent that is much closer to the top similar than initially thought. I think this is the most beautiful observation is of the past two games. And don’t forget, players like Eden Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku are players who certainly have six to eight year life span.’

Lukaku has repeatedly expressed doubts whether he still as long as wants to go. He remains very disappointed about the fluitconcerten during the match against Estonia (8-1), which he, however, repeatedly scored.

Peter Bossaert wants the King baudouin stadium thoroughly renovate: ‘It can’t be that the Red Devils play in an old-fashioned, outworn infrastructure.’ Kristof Vadino

‘Lukaku is a very important player for us. And we’re going to do everything to him for as long as possible with the Red Devils. Just as we do for all of the major players. We will be there at the right time certainly agree with him speak about it.’

Meanwhile, everyone is waiting for the disciplinary penalties in the matchfixing case. How important is it that pronounced before 30 June?

“We are going to do everything to achieve that. Where are we today? We are in november with the research started and have over 130 people were interviewed, following two matches: KV Mechelen-Waasland Beveren and Eupen-Mouscron. A research that is conducted by an independent research coordinator Ebe Verhaegen and by our commission of inquiry. Meanwhile, we also have a number of pieces obtained from the criminal investigation and we think that in the relatively short-term conclusions will be. Then it is up to us bondsparket to decide whether there will be prosecuted or not.”

If sufficient evidence is found to prove that the member clubs have denied the obligation to report, they can then be punished with relegation? In the bondsreglement is only a matter of ‘appropriate sanctions’.

(evasive) ‘That is a very good question. I think the rules about is clear. The question is: what is it we investigate? We are as the belgian football association is responsible for the smooth and fair running of the football league. What we see is only or the voetbalwetten violated. The answer Is yes, then there sanctions on. The answer Is no, then don’t. Our research is in regard to that entirely apart from the criminal investigation.’

Let me put the question differently. Suffices to waive the notification requirement for the imposition of degradation as a sporting sanction for one or multiple clubs?

(gently) “I think it is very imprudent would be to have one element from the research to isolate. It would certainly not be wise to anticipate possible legal discussions. It is the complaints board of Appeal for the professional football which in the first instance will decide, and against their decision an appeal may be lodged at the Belgian Court of arbitration for Sport (BAS). That is the procedure, to which we strictly will keep.’

Are you afraid of correct procedural errors? The disqualification of investigating judge George Raskin seems to indicate that it is also for the bond of a heavy fight is to be any culprits to punish.

“If you’re afraid, then you will never get very far in life. I think we are prepared for. We are going to ensure that a fair process is in a serene environment, where all involved parties have their say can do.”

Insiders say: regardless of the disciplinary sanction: it will take lawsuits to rain. The lawyers of the involved clubs are ready to go to the civil court to withdraw.

‘That we can not exclude. But that is a matter outside the voetbalrecht and has nothing to do with the orderly progress of the league.’

How big is the pressure from the Uefa in the matchfixing case?

“We feel in no way pressure from Uefa. But they follow this matter of course, closely,, we have regular consultations, and they support us in the approach of this dossier.’

It strikes me, incidentally, that there is a kind of schizophrenia exists in the world of football. Matchfixing is everyone strictly condemned, but to black money seems to be no one really to disturb.

“I don’t know if there in the voetbalmilieu really is as easy is possible. At least, that kind of reaction – that indolence, in respect of black money will not come to me. We go there in any case to do everything – if that still would be – the use of black money maximum. For me that is the same with all the other breaches.’

The use of black money also to sporting punishments?

‘That depends on the context. If that is for certain rules to work around, then that would have serious consequences. It is intended that the new rules on players ‘ agents and the creation of a clearinghouse (where all transfers and associated cash flows must be reported, red.) the loopholes to close. Because black money doesn’t belong in football.’

‘Incidentally, you may be sure, not everyone over the same comb shaving. It is not that black money rife in football. Many clubs follow a strict policy, but those who do violate the rules should be punished.’

Meanwhile, players ‘ agents last season is already a record of 48.6 million euro earned. There just seems nothing has changed. Even Bayat is allowed everywhere without a hitch, except for Anderlecht.

“We are about in agreement with the Pro League, which is constantly working on new, stricter regulations for players’ agents (of which the large lines this week were, red.). It is intended that these new stricter rules will also be part of the regulations of the royal belgian football association. If they are also in the licence conditions (the financial conditions that determine whether a professional club is allowed to participate in the next competition, red.) will be included? That may work for then. In any case, it is intended that the new regulations for players ‘ agents are already applicable from next season.’

And will agents who colour outside the lines. also be punished?

“Of course. Without that I am here already in detail can go on about how the sanctions are exactly the same. But you can’t for the clean seem to be a number of things change, and afterwards, everything take its course.”

A better arbitration was also an important point in your elfpuntenplan.

“That’s right, that is a huge priority for us. We go the plans from our expert, David Elleray, propose after the expiry of this competition. And that because we the course of this competition not wanting to disrupt. But in the meantime, we do already have a number of things have changed: we have thus for the VAR of the offside line entered and let the referees, the assistants and the VAR advance together in seclusion, just like the football teams themselves. So they better to each other, and truly a team. Also in the area of communication among each other.”

May the scheidsrechtersteams in the near future also a mobile phone pocket, as the VAR system fails?

‘That was actually an unfortunate occurrence, due to the fact that on the last two days all eight matches in 1A are played simultaneously and therefore, there is no backup system was present. We are now looking at whether we are just before 8 additional systems need to buy it or not. Also, remember that the VAR-technology is still a young technology, so the chances of teething problems is greater.’

How far with the plans to the VAR-vans to purchase?

‘VAR-vans disappear together with the relocation of the administrative seat to Tubize, which is scheduled for the end of 2020. The VAR will be in the new building in a central position.’

At your arrival disapproved also of the conflicts of interest in the belgian football association. Some find it still not possible that clubvoorzitters as Bart Verhaeghe and Mehdi Bayat able to decide on the appointment of a new coach. Just as the strange remains that Marc Coucke is the chairman of the Pro League.

“Bart was the first to tell you that the keys of the union building issued were to the management. And he acts accordingly very consistently. On the other hand, I need a strong board of directors in which knowledge is in areas where I have less experience have. I am very grateful to Bart and Mehdi in the board of directors, and I go to them – and others – always consult when it comes to the choice of a new coach. That sporting knowledge, we can’t just let them perish.”

Perhaps should also consider other clubvoorzitters in which the board of directors are.

“That will be so. The maximum duration of their mandate is laid down in the articles of association. And that applies to each director. Ultimately, it is the Pro League that determines which of the five clubbestuurders of our board of directors sit. Just as the amateurliga also five representatives choose.’

Bart Verhaeghe behind the renovation of the King baudouin stadium? He was the advocate to the Devils to turn in a different clubstadion to play.

“I have for the stadium record, the unanimous support of the board of directors. Therefore, Bart Verhaeghe. The case is simple. It can’t be that the Red Devils may be our best export product, play in an old-fashioned, outworn infrastructure, which is even harmful for the image of our country. It is now as if you go to a new movie go watch in a cinema with wooden seats. The new stadium should be a showcase for our country.’

How sure are you that the money will be able to binnenrijven: 150 to 200 million?

“I am optimistic. It is probably the case after the elections gain momentum. We have the support of all political parties. And the city of Brussels, is the owner of the stadium, stands fully behind. Then it is up to the other governments in our country. If you make the investment, spread over 30 years, it’s going to 5 million per year. Supplemented with a maintenance and verbeteringsbudget of 1 million per year, seems to be a sound investment. That is, on an annual basis the same as the start of the Tour de France in Brussels this year (cost more than 6 million, ed.) or in terms of total budget is not more than the full costs of the Citroëngebouw in Brussels, a former garage that was converted into a modern museum, which is also 200 million euros.’

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