Not For Sale!!! National Team Players refuse Bribe Print E-mail
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Written by Shgane D. Williams   
Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

Ian GaynairIan Gaynair of the Belize National Football Team has made Belize proud. Gaynair smoked a headshot past the goalkeeper of the United States to give Belize its first goal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament but it was his actions before the game that makes us here in the jewel most proud. Gaynair and teammate Woodrow West say they were offered a substantial amount of money by a foreigner to intentionally throw the game against the United States. To that offer, Gaynair said, “I put my country before all of that. All the struggle me goh through, all them years di play football, I can’t just take wah lee bit of money and just throw my country behind my back.”

West and Gaynair said they first met the man at an international friendly in Guatemala on June 10th. He wanted to buy tickets for the game Belize was playing and seemed interested about football in Belize. The man asked a lot of questions about how players are treated and compensated. He befriended the players and got their contact information because he said he would like to visit Belize. The man never did visit Belize but got in contact with West and Gaynair when they were in Portland, Oregon preparing for their match against the United States. He got in contact with West and requested that they meet at a mall near the players’ hotel. The players went to meet the man but were already with suspicions as Gaynair says he was “too friendly”. According to West and Gaynair, at the mall, the man said he wanted to offer them a large amount of money that could change their life and help out their families. They simply had to “promise” that Belize would lose to the United States. The players refused saying they are not into that kind of operation. As they were about to walk away, Gaynair said the man took out a large amount of cash and placed it on the table. He told them it was for them to keep the conversation secret. The players refused and as they started to walk away, the man followed and begged them not to tell anyone about his offer. He said he would give them 10,000 Euros to keep quiet. However, the players were very disturbed by the man’s offer and immediately reported the incident to team officials who then reported the matter to CONCACAF.

CONCACAF opened an investigation into the incident and increased security for the team. Ruperto Vicente, President of the Football federation of Belize, said on Tuesday, July 9th, “I’m happy that the players came forward and made the report when they were approached.” He said our players are prime targets for match fixers because “we are a federation that doesn’t have money and isn’t paying the players a lot of money.” Vicente said they had warned players that there may be people who would approach and try to bribe them and he is proud that they responded appropriately.

Members of the Belize National Team are receiving US$75 per diem, US$250 per game and US$2,500 for participation in the tournament. Gaynair said based on the amount they hear we are making, “I think this man thought that we would have fallen and that we were desperate.” He continued, “One thing I want to assure the entire nation. We are not into any match fixing because we’re strong and we’re all about our country.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 15:22