BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities charged five people Thursday in relation to a massive financial fraud and match-fixing probe into soccer.
Four were charged with belonging to a criminal organization and corruption, while a fifth person was charged with money laundering. Prosecutors said match-fixing allegations centered on the relegation battle from the top division last season and did not involve a major club.
Financial fraud centered on two agents who had contacts with many of the leading clubs, including Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Standard Liege. Accusations center on tax evasion and illegal personal enrichment.
The prosecutor’s office used only the initials of those charged.
Ivan Leko, the coach of Belgian champion Club Brugge, was speaking to investigators along with agents Mogi Bayat and Dejan Veljkovic on Thursday. Two top referees were slated to be interrogated later in the biggest sports scandal in Belgian soccer in decades.
The year-long probe centers on suspect financial operations by sports agents on transfers, including tax evasion, money laundering and private corruption….