Nine arrests in Belgian fraud, match-fixing scandal
BRUSSELS >> Three days into Belgium’s biggest football scandal in decades, nine people are behind bars, including one top referee and three agents.
In all, 19 people faced charges ranging from match fixing to money laundering.
Yet, after Wednesday’s extraordinary police operation covering 57 raids in seven nations, the scandal has left the nation’s World Cup stars and the Red Devils national side untouched.
Belgium plays Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League late Friday in Brussels with barely a question mark over the match.
At national level though, the damage is widespread. Even though matchfixing allegations did not center on winning the Belgian league, which involved clubs such as Anderlecht, Club Brugge, and Standard Liege last season, it centered on the relegation fight and a once-famous club, FC Mechelen, which has fallen on hard times.