Lierse sacks players, trainer over fraud scandal

17th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 February 2006, BRUSSELS — First Division soccer club Lierse sacked players Cliff Mardulier and Laurent Fassotte and assistant trainer Patrick Deman on Thursday, but uncertainty over their alleged confessions of involvement in gambling fraud remain.

17 February 2006

BRUSSELS — First Division soccer club Lierse sacked players Cliff Mardulier and Laurent Fassotte and assistant trainer Patrick Deman on Thursday, but uncertainty over their alleged confessions of involvement in gambling fraud remain.

Club chairman Leo Theyskens said the three men had been placed on non-active duties until further notice from the Brussels public prosecution office.

He said if media reports that the three had confessed to involvement in the Belgian match-fixing scandal are true, all three will be sacked.

Theyskens said the three men neither confirmed nor denied media reports that they had confessed to gambling fraud, but that the club was sure of its case.

"We will not let Lierse SK go down due to corruption and dirty financial tricks for personal gain," he said, adding that the club decided to sack the three men based on information at its disposal.

The decision was taken by management on Thursday night despite the fact Deman said he was not permitted to discuss the issue and Mardulier quietly disappeared from the clubrooms via a back door.

Fassotte later said he was not involved in the scandal, stressing in an official statement that he had received nothing from the Chinese — a reference to the Chinese gambling mafia allegedly implicated in the case.

It had earlier been reported on Thursday that Mardulier, Fassotte and Deman — who were all arrested on Wednesday as police conducted several house raids — had confessed to 'selling' several matches in the current and previous seasons to the gambling mafia.

One newspaper report said the confessions came after the suspects were informed of a telephone analysis, a bank investigation and a tip-off.

However, the prosecution has refused to confirm the confessions and all three suspects were released on Wednesday night without being officially charged.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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