A report from 7 News Belize claims that members of the Belize men’s national team were approached to throw their opening CONCACAF Gold Cup match against the United States on Tuesday. Whoever approached the players obviously didn’t know much about soccer, since the Americans team smoked Belize 6-1 anyway.
Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West were approached by a man in Guatemala, who tried to befriend and coerce the men to fix their match against the United States in Portland on Tuesday night.
Gaynair, who scored a first-half goal against the U.S., had the following to say about the incident:
He started talking that we don’t really stand a chance to beat the U.S. so he wanted us to promise him that we would lose the game and that he would give us a large amount of money to change our lives in Belize and to help our families.
Then as he said that my entire features changed and I just felt a different way, I felt really uncomfortable just to be around the guy because I was already aware about the ‘match-fixing’ and I know that I could get banned for life.
He saw that my features changed and he saw that we weren’t into it so he got frightened and took out a large amount of money to bribe us, a lot of hundred and fifty dollar bills and threw it at us on the table and told us to keep it an to not say anything and to keep the money.
West, who is a goalkeeper, also claimed he refused the man’s advances and made it clear to him that they were there for their country and took pride in that. The man apparently got frightened and the group of players walked away.
Match-fixing has been a serious problem in soccer over the years and Italy seems to have a serial problem with it. Clearly the players from Belize had far too much pride to lower themselves to that level, good for them. The team’s next game is Saturday against Costa Rica.