Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) has picked up on 160 suspicious games in Asia in 2020, despite a global decrease in match-fixing.
No Follow-Up Investigation for 60% of Suspicious Games
Attempts at match-fixing have increased during the coronavirus pandemic in small leagues, with about 160 suspicious games in Asia in 2020, Sportradar reported. The number of games actually fixed has however decreased globally.
Tajikistan, Oman, and United Arab Emirates, three countries with no previous notable match-fixing issues, are now in the spotlight, with fraudulent activities discovered by Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), the firm’s managing director, Andreas Krannick said. Unfortunately, there will be no investigation for about 60% of the suspicious matches, as the bodies governing the concerned sports and leagues are unaware of match-fixing or cannot afford to follow up on those games.
“The fact that 60% of the suspicious matches involved non-partners is a shocking number.”
Andreas Krannick, Managing Director at Sportradar
Sportradar currently covers 26 sports with around 80 partnering firms. Krannich declared that match-fixing covers all sports, from football to esports, “and all these sports [Sportradar is] not covering on a regular basis”. Match-fixing is a global issue, he added.
With over 600,000 matches covered around the world over the last year, including more than 1,000 competitions, Sportradar’s UFDS has detected 526 suspicious sporting games, resulting in 102 sanctions and nine criminals convicted. The sports involved were football, basketball, volleyball and beach volleyball, handball, tennis, table tennis, ice hockey, cricket, and esports.
Sportradar’s Plans to Provide UFDS System for Free
Match-fixers have been targeting vulnerable people, affected by the harsh economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
The technology firm has announced its intention to provide its UFDS system to all sport industry actors, free of charge, later this year. Krannich said that the industry must act on match-fixing and that it could cost up to $1 million to provide UFDS to leagues and sport governing bodies.
Sportradar’s partners benefit from receiving alerts on suspected games, as well as support for investigating those games, connections to law enforcement, and various services to condemn match-fixing.
The free system, however, will only provide alerts. Any follow-up investigation will have to be initiated by the concerned organization.
“What you get is the software, this massive database, the monitoring intelligence technology behind it, and 60-plus senior betting analysts who are looking into each and every suspicious match,” Krannich stated.
UFDS has been used for 15 years, with no false positive, he said, “if we announce a match has been manipulated for betting purposes, we are 110% sure.”