Belgium could seek compensation over losing World Cup bid

Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:57am EDT
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BRUSSELS, (Reuters) - Belgium may seek compensation over the 4.5 million euros ($5.13 million) spent on their unsuccessful 2018 World Cup bid if FIFA's decision to award the finals to Russia is found to be fraudulent.

"If fraud is proven it is obvious to me that we will seek compensation," Belgian Football Federation chairman Francois de Keersmaecker was quoted as saying by Het Nieuwsblad on Thursday.

The country made a joint bid with the Netherlands that cost nine million euros.

Flemish government sports minister Philippe Muyters told the same newspaper that fraud still needed to be proven.

"But if it was the case, we will, with our partners, look to proceed with a claim," he said.

The executive committee of world soccer's ruling body FIFA chose Russia ahead of the Belgian-Dutch bid, a joint bid from Portugal and Spain, and one by England.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Tony Jimenez; +27828257807 Messaging