Outrage over Belgian soccer fraud scandal
6 February 2006, BRUSSELS — The Belgian football sector has been plunged into controversy amid new allegations of match-fixing by the Chinese mafia.
6 February 2006
BRUSSELS — The Belgian football sector has been plunged into controversy amid new allegations of match-fixing by the Chinese mafia.
Canvas programme Panorama reported on Sunday night that primarily the matches of First Division team La Louvière are fixed.
The current affairs show claimed it was aware of seven rigged matches and identified 14 involved suspects.
It identified Chinese suspect Zheyun Ye and Pietro Allatta, the manager of Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto, as the main suspects.
A manager at La Louvière, Chris Benoît, is also closely involved in the scandal, Panorama reported.
The show investigated whether the series of allegations around Chinese businessman Ye in recent months were correct.
It said it had discovered in Shanghai there is mass gambling in China on the Belgian soccer competition, which is manipulated by the Chinese gambling mafia.
Several elements and identities of the fraud scandal had been previously reported, but the show said it had uncovered new facts and names.
However, outrage erupted around the La Louvière club on Monday as supporters and city mayor Willy Taminiaux demanded to know why the Wallonian club had been singled out.
The issue prompted club chairman Filippo Gaone to hurriedly meet with the team's players, stressing that he has full confidence in staff and players.
Club lawyer Laurent Denis — who was also accused of wrongdoing by the current affairs show — said he would initiate legal proceedings against Panorama.
Benoît will also lodge a court complaint against broadcaster VRT and the anonymous witness quoted in the programme.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news