Members of the Belize national soccer team were reportedly asked to throw their game against the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group match opener Tuesday.
According to a transcript from 7 News Belize, players Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West were approached about fixing the match by a man in Guatemala. The U.S. defeated Belize 6-1 in Portland Tuesday.
Online sportsbook SportsInteraction.com didn't take any unusual action on Tuesday's game.
"The U.S.A. were rank favorites in that game anyway so the idea of
Belize throwing a match against them doesn’t really mean much," Greg
Sindall of SportsInteraction.com told Covers. "U.S.A. were paying 1/20
to win the match without any ideas of it being thrown. It would be like
players from Florida Gulf Coast were asked to throw an upcoming match
against the Miami Heat."
Oddsmakers had the United States set as a 2.5-goal favorite and priced
at -2,000 to win outright, with Belize set as a +2,500 underdog and a draw paying +1,250.
Bet365.com also reported normal activity on such a one-sided match, stating, "Given those prices, obviously the vast majority of the action was on U.S.A. and mainly as a banker on parlays, which is to be expected. Nothing odd in terms of action taken on U.S.A". They had the Americans as big as 3.5-goal favorites (+100) and -8,000 favorites on the No-Draw bet market.
"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," 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."
"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,” he added.
This isn't the first report of match fixing in soccer from around the globe this week. Two Nigerian soccer matches saw a combined 146 goals recently.
Belize’s next game is versus Costa Rica Saturday. Belize is a +1,800 underdog with Cost Rica set as a -1,000 favorite. A draw is priced at +850.