AFC bolsters match-fixing fight
By Julian Guyer | AFP News
The Asian Football Confederation will monitor 4,500 matches for corruption under an extended partnership agreement with a British-based betting fraud prevention and detection firm announced Thursday.
Illegal betting syndicates in Asia have plagued several sports, notably cricket, while Singapore has been a recognised centre for football match-fixing.
The AFC first joined forces with Sportradar in 2013 to monitor its tournaments but the new agreement, launched in Doha, will also cover the top professional leagues in each of its 47 member associations.
In addition, prominent continental and regional tournaments will also be monitored by the specially designed AFC Monitoring System (AMS), with 4,500 matches across Asia each year coming under its remit.
Sportradar spokesman Alex Inglot said the system relied on a combination of mathematical and human intelligence.
“The first part is the technology and an algorithm we have developed which filters through five billion data sets every day from 450 betting operations operations around the world — legal and illegal, Europe and Asia, betting exchanges and national lotteries,” Inglot told AFP.
“We split a market into pre-match and live betting. In the pre-match market we are looking or anomalies and unexpected movements in the odds; in the live market we look for deviations from what our system expects.
“The second phase is that we have 35 expert analysts split between London, Hong Kong and Sydney whose job is to put into context those anomalies and movements in a market. They come from different parts of the betting and sports industries.”
Inglot added: “We also have 150 freelance journalists around the world adding extra details.
“Last year we monitored 65,000 matches in 11 different sports.”
Among the federations who work with Sportradar are the International Cricket Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board, World Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, as well as football’s UEFA and CONCACAF.
“Our reports have launched and supported over a hundred successful sporting sanctions and over 170 arrests,” said Inglot.
In November, a Singapore court freed Dan Tan, who was accused of leading the world’s biggest match-fixing syndicate.
The businessman was arrested in September 2013 but never tried. He was released after Singapore’s Court of Appeal ruled that it was “unlawful” to keep him detained because he did not pose a danger to public safety in Singapore.
Singapore’s highest court said that while match-fixing was “reprehensible and should not be condoned”, the alleged acts “all took place beyond our shores” and no evidence was presented to show that potential witnesses were being intimidated.
After Tan’s arrest, the then-Interpol chief Ronald Noble said the Singapore-based gang was the world’s “largest and most aggressive match-fixing syndicate, with tentacles reaching every continent”.
Source: AFP News