Rebel Belgian clubs file complaints against KBVB’s ‘culture of dark affairs’

By Samindra Kunti

May 27 – Relegated Waasland-Beveren, Virton, Antwerp and former Charlton owner Roland Duchâtelet have all filed complaints with Belgium’s competition authorities (BMA) claiming abuse of power and a conflict of interest at the Belgian FA (KBVB) and the Pro League.

“All complaints with the BMA have in common that they deal with a structural conflict of interest at the RBFA, where there is a culture of dark affairs,” wrote Virton in a statement.

The second-division club were denied a pro license for next season. They appealed the decision, but the BAS, Belgium’s equivalent of the CAS, ruled against the club which has now filed a legal complaint as well as damages claim of €15 million against the Belgian FA.

Virton is following in the footsteps of Antwerp, who have questioned the role of Mehdi Bayat, who is both the Belgian FA president and Charleroi chairman. They are joined by Waasland-Beveren, relegated following the Pro League’s decision to maintain a 16-team format for next season’s top flight, and Duchâtelet. Waasland-Beveren have also threatened to file a lawsuit.

“We would like to point out that in most federations it is forbidden for a president of the federation to have ties to a club,” said Virton. “In Belgium, the chairman of Charleroi is also the chairman of the football association, a member of the Pro League and the brother of the most powerful football agent in the country, who in practice is in charge of Charleroi, although it is forbidden for an agent to have ties with a club.”

The Pro League, however, pointed out that Antwerp was one of the clubs to back Bayat in the FA’s presidential elections. The governing body of Belgium’s professional football wrote: “The Pro League notes that during the election of the president of the KBVB all representatives of the Pro League on the executive committee, including the vice-president of the accusing party [Antwerp] voted for Mr. Mehdi Bayat.”

The Pro League is chaired by Peter Croonen, who is also the president of Racing Genk.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1656928388labto1656928388ofdlr1656928388owedi1656928388sni@o1656928388fni1656928388