Belgium’s Oostende release Ondoa over lockdown party chaos

December 16 – KV Oostende have dismissed their Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa with immediate effect after he allegedly organised a lockdown party.

The seaside club decided to release Ondoa after a breach of Covid-19 rules with Belgium in lockdown since November.  “During the night from Saturday to Sunday, the Ostend police were called up because of noise nuisance in the apartment building of Fabrice Ondoa in the Koningsstraat,” wrote the club in a statement.

“It turned out to be a lockdown party in which ten people violated all corona measures. When the police arrived, they were also verbally harassed by the revellers and 11 police reports were drawn up.”

But on social media the goalkeeper has claimed his innocence and expressed his dismay over how Oostende have dealt with the case. Ondoa wrote: “I just heard the news this (Tuesday) afternoon in an e-mail almost at the same time as the press. They are taking such a serious decision without even bothering to hear me. I just got a letter from their lawyer. It’s scandalous!”

“If they had bothered to invite me to explain, they would have understood that I have done nothing wrong. I have not organised anything at all and it sure wasn’t a lockdown party.”

The club’s executive president Gauthier Ganaye said the 24-year-old’s behaviour had crossed a line.  “As a football club, we cannot tolerate such selfish and irresponsible behaviour,” said Ganaye. “We are relieved that we have not had any Covid contamination so far and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way.

“That is why we always remind our players of their duties and they also assume their responsibility. KVO as a club is above the individual and given the seriousness of these facts, we therefore feel compelled to initiate the dismissal procedure against Fabrice Ondoa.”

Ondoa arrived at Oostende in 2018, but has never played a prominent role in the first team.

At the weekend, police in Antwerp also shut down a lockdown party that involved several players from second-division club Westerlo.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1653286594labto1653286594ofdlr1653286594owedi1653286594sni@o1653286594fni1653286594