Three months after the Belgian Soccer team was in the World Cup of Russia, reaching the semifinals, the soccer scene of the country has been stirred with a huge fraud scandal between soccer agents, the official executives and referees.
A total of 44 searches were carried out at top Belgian clubs and residences, federal prosecutors said in a statement. At the same time, searches of 13 houses also took place in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia.
Belgian prosecutors have charged 19 suspects and detained nine in a massive fraud and match-fixing scandal that has mired Belgium’s elite league in scandal.
Nine of the 19 remained in custody, including agents Dejan Veljkovic and Mogi Bayat, charged with having set up schemes to hide fees paid to themselves and players, and referee Bart Vertenten.
Police raided 44 clubs and residences across Belgium, while a further 13 searches took place in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia.
Vincent Kompany needs no introduction. He was asked about this mess and had a couple of things to say.
What did Kompany say?
The Belgian international defender of Manchester City, has appeared on the VTM television network, commenting on the “sweep” that is being developed by the authorities in his country’s soccer scene.
“Soccer is very close to a number of typical behaviours that we encounter in the world of prostitution and drug trafficking. These are worlds where there is a lot of money and there are likely to be payments that are not recorded” he said.
Are you shocked? I think not. And if you support the opposite, you are too naive or just pretending.
“In soccer, we should not be surprised at such a scandal. Why not; Because soccer is a unique world with its own rules and there is no transparency” Kompany added.
The numbers that have been heard for years in professional soccer are stunning. There’s no authority that confirms or refutes the amounts that are published in the press, therefore newspaper articles or rumours should be considered to be quite close to reality.
How close, however, to the corresponding reality of tax and contribution is the entire professional soccer industry across the globe?
If we judge from the words of Kompany and the many court adventures of big stars in the field (see for example the tax evasion charges for Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Mourinho, etc.), the attempt to conceal actual revenues is permanent and methodical.
The “double contracts” and the famous “private agreements” with the obvious aim of avoiding taxes are a rather common procedure and the exception to the rule is to deposit the normal contracts with the real amounts.
But how do teams, players, coaches and managers escape from this practice when FIFA (the world’s top sporting authority) was “scraped” shortly after the 2014 World Cup due to extensive corruption among its members and executive board!
Can anybody shut down Soccer?
Soccer is now the No. 1 public spectacle that can gather thousands of people in one place (especially in Europe). There are hundreds of Soccer matches around the globe every day, while music concerts (which also cause significant population gatherings) can not follow in numbers.
Thus, the perpetrators, who exist and act in every sector of society, exploit it in every way, by constantly inventing ways that the authorities are unable (or do not want) to prevent from closing.
And they do not want because the popular foothold is big, and the cost that can cause a possible punishment (for example Real because it has sold Santiago Bernabeu 5-6 times in the city of Madrid in order not to go bankrupt). No es broma!
Consequently, the question of Mr Kobani (“I do not understand why there is no transparency at international level and why we should not take it all out in the sunlight”) seems naive.
A soccer player who sees his tax payable by his team has no reason to hide the real agreement.
However, the big stars, who receive huge amounts of advertising or a 200-million-euro transfer, or “rookie” players who remain unpaid and succumb to other blackmail to pay, have serious reasons to follow … another way!
Like agents, who instead of being satisfied with their tough rates at each dealership, they may use part of their clients to alter the results.