Belize players reveal match-fixing bribe attempt prior to Gold Cup game vs. USMNT

Chris Wondolowski


The U.S. Men’s National Team had little trouble disposing of Belize in their CONCACAF Gold Cup opener on Tuesday night, and apparently some outside influences tried to do their part to control the outcome of the match before a ball was ever kicked.

Two members of the Belize national team informed media in their native country that they were approached prior to Tuesday’s match against the United States and offered bribes to influence the outcome of the match.

Belizian players Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West revealed earlier in the week that an unidentified man had approached them on a previous trip to Guatemala, attempting to befriend them before meeting them again in Portland prior to the USA-Belize match.

“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.

What should we make of these allegations? For one, U.S. fans should realize that in no way do the stories implicated anybody associated with U.S. Soccer or the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Why would anybody try to pay Belizian players to throw a game they were expected to lose anyway? It’s pretty simple. There is a seedy sports gambling underworld where millions and millions are wagered on international soccer, and if match fixers could spend $15,000 to guaranteed an outcome they could make large wagers on, they would almost certainly make an effort to do it.

The Belize players revealed this prior to the loss to the U.S., and Gaynair actually wound up scoring the lone Belize goal, so nobody should look at those players negatively as if they came up with these claims in order to implicate the United States.

The real cause for concern is whether those same outside influences that tried to bribe the Belize players also tried approaching players from other teams, such as Cuba or Martinique. Match-fixing by using teams expected to lose is pretty standard procedure.

What do you make of this development? Shocked to hear that there is match-fixing, or more shocked that someone offered players so much money to fix a match that always seemed destined to be a blowout?

Share your thoughts below.

  • zztoppppp

    I think this is bogus. Belize was coming out to “humiliate” the USMNT and when they were demolished that have to cover it with something.


      • zztoppppp

        I agree with that, but I honestly don’t believe it ever happened.

        If it had been Costa Rica or Honduras or Panama or Canada or someone of that caliber, I may believe it, but Belize? Not for a second.


      • Valdo

        “The Belize players revealed this prior to the loss to the U.S.”


    • ex_sweeper

      You fail at reading comprehension. The news in Belize had a story on it the day before the game. As Ives says, the players reported it before they lost the game.


    • The Imperative Voice

      Gaynair had their goal and Makin and West never saw the field. Though I find it interesting news, the idea that this was rigged doesn’t hold water.


      • Joe+G

        You can’t be certain that the same fixer didn’t get to other players. Usually the GK is critical and you will hit all around the team trying to find a soft spot.


    • Ryan

      The reason someone would apporach them to fix the game is simple, they were expected to not only lose but get destroyed. By bribing players to lose by a little more than line had them losing by there really wouldn’t be an suspicion of match fixing. If Beliez had lost by 9 goals I don’t think anyone would accuse them of throwing the game.


  • froboy

    Obviously if soomeone was betting they wouldn’t pay them to lose, but to lose by a certain goal total. You’d have to be a moron or some sort of FIFA/CONCACAF plant to try pay them just to lose.


    • froboy

      And by plant I mean someone who is trying to catch people involved with gambling


    • Rector & Carlisle

      The idea is that since you are going to lose anyway, does it matter if you lose by three goals or four?

      I’m guessing for some players a few thousand dollars can go a long way back home.


    • AcidBurn

      This. The guy would pay them to lose by at least 7 or 8 goals, or to be losing by at least 4 goals at the half, or even stupider things like to get red carded in the first five minutes of the second half.

      The games where Mexico was whooping every team 5-0 in the last Gold Cup were also targeted as potential matches for just this type of fixing.


  • Del Griffin

    More sad than anything. Every time I hear about things like this it deflates sports’ bubble in my eyes a little bit.


  • Kris

    Lol pay Belize to lose? It’d make more sense to bribe the U.S. to lose. The U.S. didn’t even play real starters in this match haha. Shoulda taken the money Belize!


    • Beto

      Lol could have been some easy money, props to the Belize players for telling those match fixer to get out and to bring it to the media. Im glad that one guy Gaynair got the goal too!


  • Rector & Carlisle

    There’s no truth to the rumor investigators are speaking to Wondolowski’s mom.


  • Jersey2Colorado

    Belize had a missed opportunity at free money… why on earth would anyone need to PAY belize to lose against the USA?


  • Steve

    Yeah whoever said goal amount was correct, the idea likely wasn’t to pay them to lose, but lose by at least a certain amount. I did not bet this game so I didn’t check odds, but odds of USA win would have been awful from a payout standpoint, but betting something like Belize loses by at least 3 (USA covers 2.5) would have a better line for a fixer to bother with


    • ex_sweeper

      That’s the sad thing about match fixing – once you start looking for it, every stupid decision by a ref or a player becomes suspect. Case in point was the Robbie Keane penalty against Columbus. Several posters immediately started screaming “fix”. Impossible to prove either way, unless someone gets caught in a sting or fesses up.


      • Older & Wiser

        I have played for years, but it wasn’t until I became a referee that I truly appreciated how critical the referee’s positioning is to getting the call correct. Two people can view the exact same interaction from two completely different angles. One sees a clear PK while the other sees a clear no call. It is all about perspective.


  • kmac014

    Guys it wasn’t just to lose the match it was to lose by a certain amount of goals, probably by at least 3 or 4 goals. The US was like -2500 to win and to win by 3 it was like -170, so if the fixers said make sure you lose by 4 they could make some nice money


  • ac70

    I am a little amazed by the people shocked by this. Betting on footballsoccer matches is not just about scores or score differential. Practically every statistical aspect of the game is bet on depending on the betting house. These shady characters often target players from poor federations and countries to skew results especially in games where their opponents are heavily favored to win. Manipulating the results in these sort of matches is easier to mask unless the score or a particular stat extremely deviates from norm.


  • Chuck

    I’m amazed at seeing many people don’t believe this. Of course they’d lose. The shady character was offering them money to lose for MORE goals, thus screwing people who bet on them losing by less than 7 goals or so.


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