Gold Cup

Report: Belize approached to fix game

Watch the full highlights of the USA's 6-1 win over Belize.
Watch the full highlights of the USA's 6-1 win over Belize.
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Members from the Belize men's national team were approached to throw their CONCACAF Gold Cup group match opener against the United States on Tuesday, this according to a transcript from 7 News Belize.

Players Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West reportedly were approached by a man in Guatemala, where the man attempted to befriend and coerce the players to fix their match against the United States in Portland on Tuesday night.  The U.S. defeated Belize 6-1.

"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," Belize international Gaynair told 7 News Belize.

"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."

Gaynair added: "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 and to not say anything and to keep the money."

Organized crime gangs have fixed or tried to fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world in recent years, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games.

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Check out the best images from the 2013 Gold Cup group stage.

''For people outside of football, currently the custodial sentences imposed are too weak and offer little to deter someone from getting involved in match-fixing,'' said Ralf Mutschke, director of director of security at FIFA, earlier this year.

Belize goalkeeper West also told 7 News Belize that he refused the man's advances. "I made him understand that we’re not into taking money from him or anything like that," said West. "We’re here for our country – regardless if we’re in the U.S. but we’re not into that none at all. He got frightened and we walked."

Belize's next game is Saturday against Costa Rica.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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