The Final Word on the Belize Jaguars rejecting the Gold Cup Bribe
The subject has been raging online for the last week and at the risk of adding to “topic fatigue” we felt we should put our two cents in.
To the Belize Jaguar players who rejected and then reported the bribe they were offered to throw the game and widen the point spread – you guys just climbed another few notches up on our already high estimation of you as players and as people.
And we’re not alone. Commentators around the globe have praised the lads for their exemplary conduct in walking away from the money, and their courage in reporting the bribe. Check out this report from no less an authority than Sports Illustrated:
“SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine for a second that you’re Belize soccer player Ian Gaynair. You don’t make much money in your tiny Central American country, and now a man is in front of you offering you cash to lose a game by maybe a little more than you’re already expected to. Who would notice? You’re Belize. You’re supposed to get blown out by the United States. Who cares if it’s by four goals or by six?
That was the temptation facing Gaynair and teammates Woodrow West and Andres Makin last Sunday, two days before their Gold Cup opener against the U.S. in Portland. But instead of taking the money, Gaynair refused and reported the incident to his coach, Ian Mork, who reported it to CONCACAF. “
The reporter went on to detail the circumstances before saying, “They may have lost 6-1 to the U.S., but Gaynair, West and Makin are so far the stars of the tournament in my book. By refusing to become part of global soccer’s rampant match-fixing problem, Gaynair, a defender, even scored Belize’s lone goal against the U.S., briefly narrowing the score to 2-1 in the first half.”
We couldn’t agree more. We already expressed our pride for the Belize Jaguars qualifying and then playing against the US Team, and this only adds more polish to their shine. What an example to young Belizeans just starting out in sports.
Sometimes being a winner isn’t reflected just on the scoreboard.
As a footnote, it’s also been reported that the briber has been positively identified, is known to officials and is being investigated. With INTERPOL on the case, t’s expected he’ll be dealt with severely.
Even the CONCACAF general secretary, Enrique Sanz had his say: “These guys were strong enough to say what happened, because this game is about more than the result. It’s about the honour and integrity that are in play. And that can’t be bought by anyone.”
Exactly. And we’ll let Sports Illustrated have the last word:
“So take a bow, Ian Gaynair, Woodrow West and Andres Makin. You may not win any games at the Gold Cup. But you won something else: Total respect.”
Amen. You can read more from Sports Illustrated at: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130712/belize-gold-cup-match-fixing-united-states/#ixzz2Yv32pPYf