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Club Brugge among Belgian clubs in peril

Atlético Madrid’s Group A rivals have landed themselves in a world of trouble.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League Group A Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Earlier this week, an investigation into alleged corruption had been underway with regard to a number of Jupiler Pro League clubs. But on Thursday, Club Brugge manager Ivan Leko was arrested in connection to the investigation, along with members of other clubs, like Standard Liege, Anderlecht and Genk.

Leko has been released but accused of money laundering.

As there is very little concrete information out yet, it is not responsible to speculate as to the corruption’s nature. But this seems to be a wide-ranging investigation not just confined to Belgium. Just how the Belgian Football Association and UEFA choose to proceed with this issue will be very interesting, as this is the first multi-club incident in a fairly major league since calciopoli in 2006.

With regard to Atlético Madrid, this will likely not have a major impact given that Atlético ran out comfortable winners against Brugge last week. However, Leko’s status could do further damage to a team that would have had to face a scandal anyway. Brugge were never likely to get out of Group A, but certainly should drop out of European competition entirely after the first two matchday results.

With Leonardo Jardim’s release from Monaco coming on the same day, half of Group A is without stability in the dugout. It certainly stands to reason that Atlético and Borussia Dortmund will be the teams to emerge into the knockout phase.