Ex-national keeper quits over fraud scandal

21st February 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 February 2006, BRUSSELS — The head trainer at First Division club La Louvière resigned on Tuesday after being implicated in a match-fixing scandal sweeping the Belgian football world.

21 February 2006

BRUSSELS — The head trainer at First Division club La Louvière resigned on Tuesday after being implicated in a match-fixing scandal sweeping the Belgian football world.

Gilbert Bodart had replaced the sacked Emilio Ferrera on 21 October 2005, but the former goal keeper for the Belgian national team has since been embroiled in controversy.

"Bodart can no longer carry out his functions given the present climate and the attacks targeted against him," Bodart's lawyer Laurent Denis said.

Bodart's deputy Frédéric Tilmant will take over the reins of La Louvière, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.

"I took the decision to tender my resignation not for myself but for my family. In the past two months, my children, wife and parents have been the victim of threats and jealousy," Bodart said.
 
"In light of everything that we've already had to accept, the latest allegations are the straw."

Bodart said the accusations started in Oostende, where he allegedly bet against his team. "That is pure fancy," he said.

He was then alleged to have threatened Liberal VLD Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker — an accusation he denies. After that, rumours of his corruption at La Louvière started circulating.

Bodart said he had decided to resign to maintain his integrity and will place himself at the disposal of public prosecution officers.

"I leave La Louvière with good spirit and the conviction to clear myself [of allegations]," he said.

"I am taking the necessary distance before I return to football, because that still remains my life. But for now, all my attention goes to my family because they need me."

Bodart is the latest high-profile personality to be linked to the match-fixing scandal centered around the suspicious Chinese businessman Zheyun Ye.

Two players and a trainer at First Division club SK Lierse have been sacked, while Anderlecht has sacked two players who recently transferred across from Lierse. All five had reportedly confessed to links to the Chinese gambling mafia.

However, Germinal Beerschot has retained the services of former Lierse player Ninoslav Milenkovic despite rumours he had also has confessed to wrongdoing.

Not so lucky was Paul Put who was sacked by Excelsior Moeskroen last week after he confessed to 'selling' two matches to the Chinese mafia while he was the coach of Lierse.

Put claims he had been receiving constant death threats from the mafia before he sold the matches.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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