European league rocked by fixing scandal following Westerlo-Genk draw

Belgian football has been hit with a fixing scandal after Westerlo’s 1-1 draw with Genk.

The two sides faced each other on the final day of the season, with Genk needing a point to finish 6th and secure qualification to the championship round. While Westerlo also required just one point in order to avoid relegation.

What happened between Genk and Westerlo?

Westerlo were leading by a goal to nil, taking the lead in the 80th minute of the game. The home side were 10 minutes plus stoppage time away from winning the game. But 10-men Genk equalised 6 minutes later, making it 1-1.

With the game now tied and only a few minutes of normal time left, both sides virtually stopped playing, with Westerlo allowing Genk to just casually pass the ball around.

There appeared to be an understanding between the two sides to happily see the game out with a point each.

The players even shook hands before the full-time whistle instead of attempting to go for the victory.

The referee was left shocked at what he was seeing and even approached to speak to some of the players.

After the game, the club issued the following statement (via Daily Mail):

“KVC Westerlo completely distances itself from the way the match went during the last five minutes. Facts over which the club had no influence whatsoever.”

Westerlo sack manager after the game

The game ended 1-1 and both teams got their desired result. But the club sacked the manager, distancing themselves from the way the game ended, claiming that they had no influence on it.

The club issued the following the statement on their website:

“The club has terminated the contract with head coach Rik De Mil with immediate effect.”

“Despite considering long-term collaboration, we found it necessary to make this decision.”

“The club regrets having to take this measure but cannot accept that its values and norms would be questioned. We thank Rik for his performance and dedication, and wish him every success in the future.”

Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office calls for fine and suspension for all involved

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office have issued a strong response in the wake of the alleged fixing, calling for both the managers, Vrancken and De Mil, as well as the players to be suspended.

They issued a statement (via Sporza):

“The last five minutes of Westerlo-Genk were a mockery of fair play.”

“This is not only against the rules of the game, it is also manifestly unfair compared to other teams that were still in the running for a Champions’ Play-off ticket.”

“The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office classifies this as blatant cheating. It goes without saying that this shabby display has not benefited the image of Belgian football.”