Three football players in Belize are being investigated by CONCACAF and UNCAF for alleged match fixing. The allegations came after a match between BDF and Verdes in April 29th earlier this year, in which Verdes beat BDF six to nothing. What is interesting is that the one making the allegations is the coach of BDF and present assistant coach of the Belize Football Federation Charles Slusher. In a letter to the federation dated April 30t,h Slusher said that he suspects that some players of BDF accepted bribes to purposefully lose the match. Ruperto Vicente, president of FFB, spoke to the media yesterday where he said the matter is now in the hands of an independent integrity officer assigned by the CONCACAF.
” When we got the complaint, we sent the letter to the Integrity Officer named by CONCACAF because the F.F.B. cannot. We as the federation cannot investigate that. So someone who is independent of the Federation has to be the one doing
“Would be ye able to give us some information as to who made that allegation against those players and who is the Integrity officer and what is the protocol surrounding allegations like this ?”
“Well the person who made the complaint was the coach for BDF. The Integrity Officer for Belize is Elmer Torres. He is the one doing the investigation on behalf of the Federation, UNCAF and CONCACAF.”
“Is an allegation of this of concern to the F.F.B.?”
“Certainly, because there are serious implications! Players can be suspended, clubs can be suspended, officials of the team can be suspended in this case if proven that the allegation was true.”
“I asked you earlier about the protocol. Is there any action which is taken before the investigation is complete as regards these three players?”
“Not really. Because there is no concrete evidence we cannot take any action, or any action immediately. So we will have to wait for the investigator to complete the investigation
Two of the players under scrutiny are also part of the National Team program. Those two, however, were not of the 23 players that made the roster. A counter allegation then emerged that the complainant cried foul to hurt the players’ chances of getting in on the roster; but Ruperto Vicente assures that was not the case.
“Well I must say that Charlie Slusher along with Mr. Nunez have been acting professionally. I don’t think those players who are being investigated chance of being on the National Team is affected by this/ Charlie Slusher and Nunez had those players on the National Team and we would not take those players off the National team if there is no bases for the allegations. They are National Team players. They are a part of the program. The reason thise players are not on the National Team presently is because those players had not shown up for pracvtise sessions. So, the recommendation came for those players to be a part of the twenty-three players that makes up the National Team.
“That’s the case for both players?”
“That’s the case for both players., I believe. I am sure of one.”
Elmer Torres, the Integrity Officer for Belize, is leading the investigation into this matter.