On Tuesday night, the U.S. Men’s National Team soundly defeated Belize 6-1 in 2013 Gold Cup match play. According to 7 News Belize on Wednesday, reports surfaced that players from Belize’s national team were asked to throw the match away by a man.
However, Belize players Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow Westare told 7 News Belize they were adamant and quite clear to this mysterious man that they were not going to throw their match against the United States. Apparently the man tried to befriend the team and chatted with them on three occasions: first in Guatemala, secondly on the phone when Belize made it to Portland, and lastly in the Portland mall close to the team’s hotel. According to Makin, Gaynair, and Westare’s recollections of the incident, the man asked them “how much they made in Belize” and told them “they had no chance to beat the U.S.”
Luckily for these three Belizian players, they knew as national team players how much they represent their country and the consequences of match-fixing. In most cases like this one, those guilty of match-fixing face a life ban.
This story can be a lesson to those who face similar bribes and temptations. Remember who you are and what you represent, because it is something bigger than yourself and facing a life-long ban for match-fixing.
Luckily for Makin, Gaynair, Westare and the rest of the Belize team, they can be proud of how they represent their country at the 2013 Gold Cup. Yes, the United States is better at soccer than Belize, but ask Canada‘s soccer team if upsets don’t happen in sports.
In case you are wondering, a 6-1 result against the United States should not cause you any concern that these players are lying and indeed took the bribe. The result was half expected for those playing on either side of the pitch.
Phil Naegely is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @pnaegelyRS and add him to your circles on Google.