«Footbelgate» - the far-reaching scandal in Belgian football
The term "Footbelgate" first came up in the press in 2018 after player advisor Dejan Veljkovic had been arrested by Belgian authorities. Now, almost four years after the arrest, the investigation is completed and more volatile details are coming to light. It happened only because Veljkovic has agreed to a deal with the authorities, which will see him receive a lighter prison sentence as a crown witness.
Accused are now 57 people, including well-known coaches, club presidents, the former president of the Belgian football federation, and the current technical director of FIFA. 11 of 18 clubs in Belgium's top league are involved in the scandal. The allegations range from black money to fictitious invoices, bribes, and secret match-fixing. With the help of a Cypriot company, Veljkovic was able to create an entire network. With the help of this network, he was able to generate at least 30 million euros in black money, around 20 million euros of which were passed on directly to coaches and officials.
The trial will take place in 2023 at the earliest and it is still unclear whether the indictment will also lead to legal convictions. However, the investigation could have serious consequences for the clubs involved in Belgium, as several clubs could lose their licenses.
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