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Luke Massey

The suspicious live betting activity from over 50% of the football matches identified by Sportradar between 2017 and 2019 emerged within the first 15 minutes, signifying a clear trend for match fixers to enter the betting markets early in the game.

This was one of the headline findings revealed as part of #ProtectingGlobalSport – a social media campaign initiated by Sportradar which delivers a series of integrity-focused facts to help quantify the impact of match fixing.

Sportradar Integrity Services escalated more than 1,700 football matches as suspicious over the three-year period, with 40% (628) of these matches from second-tier domestic leagues – proven to be the most ‘at-risk’ level of football on a global level. Football’s top tier accounted for 377 matches, while the third tier and below had 298, and youth matches 149.

“With football being the biggest sport in the world, it’s critical to implement proven and reliable integrity monitoring for as many football leagues as possible, across all tiers,” said Tom Mace, Director of Global Operations for Integrity Services at Sportradar.

Mace added: “By doing so, Sportradar has been able to identify clear trends and patterns that allow us to quickly detect match fixers and support our partners in sport and law enforcement to investigate it.”

Tracking back to 2009 and earlier (134 cases), Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) has identified more than 5,000 matches across different sports as ‘likely to have been manipulated’. The peak number for any single year was 661 in 2017.

Interestingly, despite the majority of live sports being on hiatus for several months this year, the FDS has already picked up 213 new cases (as of 9 June) for 2020.

This equates to a rate “not far off the pace” of last year’s total of 660 total, which Sportradar said was “significantly higher” than previous public reports by other sources.

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