News 3 March 2016

Investigation into suspected Belgian football fraud

Local newspapers in Belgium are reporting that the Belgian Football Association (KBVB) is the ‘subject of a judicial investigation’ over its financial auditing. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, Belgian authorities are investigating possible financial fraud that revolves around the payment of wages and the use of subsidies by the KBVB.

According to the Associated Press, the prosecutor’s office says ‘several people have already been heard during the preliminary probe into corruption at the federation’. After an audit by the KBVB was made public, the prosecutor’s office reportedly became interested in the financial transactions at the association’s headquarters in Brussels.

The audit reportedly showed that several members of the coaching staff of the Belgian national team and union employees were being paid double – once through a normal ‘operational contract’ and once through invoices from their own companies. The prosecutor’s office reportedly suspect that tax arrangements were therefore set up illegally.

Het Laatste Nieuws has also reported that there is an investigation into the use of subsidies by the KBVB. According to the public audit, the subsidies that the KBVB received reportedly only ‘partially ended up with the correct association for the promotion of Euro 2020’.

In a statement issued by the KBVB, the association has said that it is confident that the investigation will find nothing illegal. ‘We provide our full cooperation. We are right in our shoes,’ said a spokesperson. Nobody has yet been named as a suspect in the investigation.

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