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Jaguars rebuffed match-fixer
by Paul Kennedy, July 10th, 2013 10:21PM

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TAGS:  fifa, gold cup, men's national team

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[USA-BELIZE] Members of the Belize national team told a local Belize television station the day before the game that they had been approached by a man who had befriended them during a recent friendly in Guatemala, met them at a mall near their hotel in Portland and tried unsuccessfully to get them to agree to manipulate Tuesday's USA-Belize match. One of the players was Ian Gaynair, who scored the lone Jaguar goal in the 6-1 loss to the USA in Belize's Gold Cup debut Tuesday at JELD-WEN Stadium.

Gaynair told Today 7news:

"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 $100 and $50 bills and threw it at us on the table and told us to keep it and to not say anything and to keep the money. Like I told him, 'We can't take that money' because at the end of the day our entire country is behind us and we just made history for these big games so we can't just sell out our country for a little bit of money. At the end of the day, we might not be making a lot of money in Belize but still we have to look at our career and our future."

According to Today 7news, the agreement the Belizean players -- all but two of whom are amateurs -- have with the Football Federation of Belize to play in the Gold Cup is that they get $250 per match and $75 per diem, plus a participation fee of about $2,500.

There was no immediate comment from Concacaf about the players' story, though it is not inconsistent with other match-fixing scenarios -- players making little or no money are first befriended, often while playing abroad, and are later shown piles of cash to fix a game or manipulate the score.

It is not the first time there has been charges of match-fixing related to the Gold Cup.

Then-FIFA head of security Chris Eaton told SI.com's Grant Wahl in 2011 that there was information that matches in the Gold Cup involving Cuba, Grenada and El Salvador were manipulated.


5 comments
  1. soccer talk
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 9:20 a.m.
    Makes no sense!

  1. Mark Wallis
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.
    Belize needed to be bribed to throw a game that they had virtually no chance of winning!? Plus the odds on the USA to win were probably a miniscule 1:200, so the fixer would probably make less profit than he paid the Belize players. But why would the players make this up? The only way that this makes sense to me is if the fixer wanted to see if the Belizians were bribeable and wanted to fix a future match where the odds made sense. But any huge bets on Belize might arouse suspicion. Totally weird story.

  1. Margaret Manning
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.
    Seems that to "throw" a game you'd need a chance of winning in the first place.

  1. John Soares
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 12:14 p.m.
    While it does not seem to make sense. Based on stories from Europe bribes can come in many forms (reasons). Number of goals allowed, penalties committed, minutes to a goal, first or second half...... Bets are not made on win/lose alone.

  1. David Parsons
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.
    Don't be naive folks. They could lose by a certain amount (bigger than what it was) and bettors would make a ton of money. It's not just simple winning and losing, it's called the "spread". I think FIFA, the US players, or US Soccer should donate a small bonus to these guys as gift for being honorable.


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