TV report expands Belgium match-fixing outrage

A television program has triggered outrage among people associated with Belgian football club La Louviere, which was named in the show as a chief role-player in the Belgian football league's match-fixing scandal last year. A program aired by Flemish public broadcaster VRT on Sunday night claimed that at least seven matches had been fixed this season, six of which involved the Francophone club La Louviere.

The current affairs program, Panorama, identified 14 suspects in the case, including businessman Ye Zheyun from Taiwan and Pietro Allatta, the manager of Anderlecht club's goalkeeper Silvio Proto, as the main suspects.

The report said a manager of La Louviere, Chris Benoit, was closely involved in the scandal and club lawyer Laurent Denis was also complicit in the case.

The allegations drew anger from supporters of La Louviere and city mayor Willy Taminiaux, who demanded to know why the Wallonian club had been singled out. The issue prompted club chairman Filippo Gaone to hurriedly meet with the team's players, stressing that he has full confidence in staff and players.

According to the Chinese newsagency Xinhua, the fraud case first raised the suspicion of the Belgian judicial authorities last year when it was found that excessively high bets had been placed on certain matches in the Belgian competition. Later investigation has been focused on a businessman, Ye Zheyun, who allegedly bought stakes in several Belgian clubs to be able to manipulate the matches and place bets afterwards.