Referee Sebastien Delferiere has been charged in conjunction with the Belgian football match-fixing scandal, it has been reported ©Getty Images

Prosecutors have charged the first suspects in a fraud and match-fixing scandal that has plagued Belgium's elite football league.

Belgian authorities have charged 19 people and detained nine with charges of money laundering, belonging to a criminal organisation and conspiracy being brought. 

It is believed that the police arrested 29 people on Wednesday (October 10) but ten were released without charges.

Two referees have been charged alongside prominent football executives and agents.

Bart Vertenten and Sebastien Delferiere were among those charged.

The referees have faced accusations of conspiracy in relation to match-fixing and have been suspended with immediate effect by the Belgian Football Federation.

Officials of KV Mechelen and Waasland-Beveren are also believed to be among those charged, according to reports.

There are more than 20 suspects under investigation after hundreds of police carried out 44 house searches across Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia.

Searches were also conducted at the headquarters of nine football clubs - RSC Anderlecht, Club Brugge, KRC Genk, KV Kortrijk, KV Mechelen, KV Oostende, Sporting Lokeren, AA Ghent and Standard Liege.

The judge in charge of the case has also issued European arrest warrants to seek the extradition of suspects detained abroad, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor’s office told reporters in Brussels.

Some of Belgium’s best known football agents are at the centre of investigations for alleged crooked transfer deals and match fixing.

Football manager and agent Mogi Bayat hasbeen charged with money laundering and conspiracy ©Getty Images
Football manager and agent Mogi Bayat hasbeen charged with money laundering and conspiracy ©Getty Images

Mogi Bayat was reportedly arrested at his home and has now been charged with money laundering and conspiracy.

Bayat was a former manager of Sporting Charleroi while Club Brugge coach Ivan Leko was also reportedly arrested.

A fraud investigation is also underway against another agent, Dejan Veljkovic.

The investigation focuses on allegations that Veljkovic coordinated with a Belgian referee to prevent KV Mechelen from being relegated.

The match-fixing enquiry focuses on the 2017-2018 season.

According to De Standaard, the financial director of KV Mechelen, Thierry Steemans, has been detained and charged in the match-fixing case.