According to research by a global sports technology company, potential match-fixing has been found in more than 1,100 sports games since April 2020.
Sportradar Integrity Services, a partner to more than 100 sports federations and leagues, has used its betting surveillance system, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), to find suspicious activity in 12 sports in more than 70 countries. Results go back to the start of the pandemic, with 655 of the games being detected in the first nine months of 2021.
According to Sportradar, soccer is the sport most at risk of corruption related to betting. UFDS technology reported 500 suspicious soccer games this year. Almost 40% of the games reported in national competitions took place in leagues in the third division and below, with youth football also being targeted by match fixers.
The rising popularity of esports has also made it an increasingly popular destination. More than 70 suspicious matches in five different game titles have been discovered by the UFDS since April 2020. More than 40 of these were discovered in 2021.
The UFDS also discovered suspicious activity in 37 tennis games, 19 basketball games, 11 table tennis games, nine ice hockey games, and six cricket games. Volleyball, handball and beach volleyball were also identified as problem areas.
Europe was the region most affected by corruption, with 382 suspicious matches uncovered this year. Latin America had 115 games, Asia-Pacific 74, Africa 43, the Middle East 10, and North America nine.
Sportadar released its findings as it starts delivering the UFDS to sports authorities around the world for free to protect athletic integrity.
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Andreas Krannich, Managing Director of Integrity Services at Sportradar, said: “As our analysis shows, the game arrangement continues to develop and the people behind it diversify their approach, both in the sports and competitions they are aiming for and in the way they how they approach the athletes ”, like the increase in digital approaches.
“To remedy this, Sportradar has made significant investments to bring the UFDS to global sports organizations and leagues for free. The reason for this is that we are committed to supporting the sustainability of global sport and using data and technology forever. “