Colorado Rapids winger Max Alves has been suspended from his team amidst allegations of match-fixing in his home country of Brazil. The Major League Soccer (MLS) star is the latest player from an American sports team to get wrapped up in a sports betting scandal in recent days, following the sorry paths of Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannan and, potentially, members of the Iowa and Iowa State baseball teams.
Unlike the other sports betting scandals that have emerged in recent days, Alves’ suspension is tied to an active investigation that’s already laid charges on 16 people in Brazil.
According to a report on ESPN.com, Alves is alleged to have worked with a criminal gang that would wager on fouls committed by individual players. The gang is alleged to have paid players up to $100,000 per infraction to receive yellow cards. The gang would place large prop bets on those players and reap the rewards.
Neither the Rapids nor MLS have commented specifically on Alves’ case but the league issued a statement on the matter saying, ” “We are aware of the reports regarding a Colorado Rapids player in connection with unlawful sports gambling. We take matters of this nature seriously and seek at all times to protect the integrity of the game. The player has been removed from all team activities while MLS conducts an investigation into the matter.”
Sports betting has been legal in Brazil since 2018, and this is shaping up to be the biggest sports betting scandal since regulated play was legalized.