Two Belgians have been charged with blackmail in connection with match fixing allegations surrounding the 1984 UEFA Cup semifinal between Anderlecht and Nottingham Forest.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. (APRIL 25, 1984)
ANDERLECHT 3 (WHITE) V. NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0 (RED/WHITE)
1. VICENZO SCIFO SCORES FOR ANDERLECHT FROM OUTSIDE PENALTY AREA
2. ANDERLECHT PLAYER BROUGHT DOWN FOR PENALTY
3. KENNETH BRYLLE CONVERTS PENALTY FOR ANDERLECHT
4. ERWIN VANDERBERGH SCORES FOR ANDERLECHT
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Background: Two Belgians have been charged with blackmail in connection with match fixing allegations surrounding the 1984 UEFA Cup semifinal between Anderlecht and Nottingham Forest.
"They have both been charged," Jos Colpin, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office said on Thursday (February 20).
He said the two men, Jean Elst and Rene Van Aeken, had been released, with certain conditions attached, pending the police investigation.
Police launched a probe into the allegations after the Belgian club said it had been blackmailed by two men. One of the men claimed to have acted as an intermediary to fix the second leg which Anderlecht won 3-0 after losing the first leg 2-0.
Anderlecht manager Michel Verschueren has confirmed police had been asked to investigate the alleged blackmail attempt. But he denied the central allegation that the club used an intermediary to try to "buy" the game.
Colpin said Anderlecht's current chairman Roger Vanden Stock called in the police in November 1995.
Elst and Van Aeken reportedly told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws on Thursday that they had received a total of 56 million francs ($1.6 million) from Anderlecht.
"Thirteen years ago I bribed the Spanish referee in charge of the UEFA Cup match between Anderlecht and Nottingham," Elst reportedly said.
"As far as we're concerned, they can arrest us again...and let us appear in court. Anderlecht will then really see something," the newspaper quoted Elst as saying.
The result, after a disputed penalty for the Belgians and a disallowed Forest goal, took Anderlecht to the final which they lost to another English club, Tottenham.
The two men, who asked to be paid 12 million francs (343,000 U.S. dollars) for the information, were quoted by Het Laatste Nieuws as saying they had nine pieces of evidence backing up the match fixing claims, including tapes of telephone conversations and meetings with Anderlecht.
Verschueren said the tape was forged and made up of an amalgam of recordings, edited to give a false impression about a conversation said to have taken place about the 1984 game.
There is no suggestion made in the allegations that Nottingham Forest players or officials were involved.
Anderlecht, who meet Internazionale Milan in the UEFA quarter-finals in two weeks, declined to comment further.
"We're working very hard to improve the image of our soccer and it is very annoying that such a thing comes to light," Belgian soccer union president Michel D'Hooghe said.
He told Het Nieuwsblad newspaper he had known about the case for the past six to seven years, since receiving a "very chaotic" bundle of papers, mainly newspaper clippings, from Elst and Van Aeken.
D'Hooghe passed on the dossier to his secretary-general who transferred it to UEFA, European soccer's governing body. Two days later he received a further pile of documents from the two men which were also passed on to UEFA, he said.
UEFA confirmed on Thursday that it had received a file on the various allegations.
Spokeswoman Patricia Steulet said: "It only arrived yesterday, I think, so we can make no other comment. It will be looked at by the disciplinary committee."