THE cracks are showing in the Belgium team as they head home in shame.

Probably a case of washing dirty linen in public?

The first scary signs were there when several members of Belgium’s World Cup squad reportedly paid for their own flights home from Qatar, rather than travelling back with the rest of the team as planned.

The Red Devils (Belgium’s nickname) crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages for the first time since 1998 after scoring just one goal in three matches.


After labouring to a 1-0 victory over Canada in their opening match, things got worse for the Belgians with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Morocco.

What prompted the gossips? In the build-up to that loss, the squad was rocked by a bizarre interview conducted by Kevin De Bruyne, in which he claimed that Roberto Martinez’s squad were ‘too old’ to win the World Cup.

The team tried to play down De Bruyne’s comments in his post-match interview, but it was quickly clear that all was not well in the Belgium camp.


Jan Vertonghen took a swipe at his captain when speaking to the media after the match, mockingly suggesting: “We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?”

So here goes the blaming game…but whatever, washing dirty linen in public is a very poor form of gamesmanship.

Now, what do you think of this drama post-field?

* Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor

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