London, April 25: Thibaut Courtois and his father have opened "criminal indemnification proceedings for libel and defamation" against former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots for claiming they leaked team news. Wilmots was speaking on Qatari television when he suggested he had been told the Chelsea goalkeeper's father, Thierry, had revealed Belgium's team selections to journalists at Euro 2016.
The former striker was dismissed after the tournament, as they were surprisingly eliminated by unfancied Wales in the quarter-finals, ensuring the talented Belgium squad were seen as having underperformed.
Wilmots, who left his role with Ivory Coast in November after failure to qualify for the World Cup, now faces a court battle, with Courtois and his father angered by the 49-year-old's claims.
Speaking to BeIn Sports, Wilmots said: "I just have a problem when I make my selection at 6pm and at 6.15pm it is on all social networks.
"It means that a player has sold the selection. And that's serious. It came back to me from several French journalists that Courtois' father was doing it. It means that you do not respect your homeland.
"I find it a shame, because I have to wait an hour before the match to have the opposition's selection. And that's terrible. The opponent is gaining time. He can prepare everything. He knows everything. And that's really dramatic. It never happened at the World Cup in Brazil."
Courtois wrote on Instagram: "Mr Wilmots - not for the first time - reiterates publicly and intentionally [makes] accusations against my honour and my reputation.
"As well as my father, we decided together to file a complaint accompanied by criminal indemnification proceedings for libel and defamation."
Thierry hit back at the claims by saying: "I never in my life communicated a team composition to any journalist. Being a top player and also in a technical staff of a European level club, I know how delicate it is. My teammates and players also knew it. We work together for a long time to get results, I hate leaks."