Eredivisie footballers alleged to have owned shares in illegal betting site
Several Eredivisie players are alleged to have had accounts with an illegal betting site which has been linked to organised crime.
Sparta Rotterdam players Tom Beugelsdijk and Aaron Meijers are alleged to have held a 1% and 2% stake respectively in Edobet, which was wound up last year, AD reported.
Beugelsdijk, 31, told the newspaper he had arranged for the money he invested in the company to be paid into the footballers’ pension scheme to support him after his professional career was over.
‘People are quick to judge, but it was for after my career, as it says in the documents,’ he said.
Both players were included in the squad for Sparta’s match at the weekend against Heerenveeen. Team coach Henk Fraser said: ‘These matters are decided by the justice department. I have to think about the interests of Sparta and I couldn’t care less what other people think.’
The football association KNVB declined to comment in detail on the allegations, but said it could investigate ‘in theory’ if professional regulations had been breached.
FIFA rules forbid players from being involved in ‘betting, gambling, lotteries or similar events or transactions related to football matches or competitions’ either directly or indirectly.
NOS reported on Sunday that it knew of other players who had signed deals with Edobet, including former Dutch international Jordy Clasie, who was said to have paid €30,000 into an Edobet account.
ADO Den Haag forward Ricardo Kishna was reportedly offered a contract for €50,000, but decided not to accept it. He said he had placed bets with Edobet on several occasions: ‘If I won, I was paid out in cash’.
Other current and former professionals including Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuijt allegedly placed bets with the site. Prosecutors say Edobet was set up by Freddy S., whose father, Piet S., was implicated in an international drug smuggling ring.
Kuijt and Sneijder were interviewed by police investigating Piet S.’s connections with a narcotics operation spanning 10 countries, though the 65-year-old from The Hague was not ultimately convicted of drug smuggling or any involvement in underworld killings.
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