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US – More than 500 suspicious sports matches detected in 2021

By - 13 October 2021

Sportradar Integrity Services has released a new study detailing the detection of more than 1,100 suspicious sports matches since the start of the global pandemic in April 2020, with 655 of those matches detected in the first nine months of 2021. 

In the last 18months Sportradar has utilised its bet monitoring system, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), to detect suspicious activity in 12 different sports across more than 70 countries worldwide. These insights are published as Sportradar officially begins delivering its UFDS bet monitoring service free of charge, effective today, to sports federations, sports leagues, and state authorities around the world, in its continued commitment to protecting the integrity of global sport and making the system accessible to all.

According to Sportradar’s UFDS figures, soccer is the sport at most risk of betting related corruption with more than 500 suspicious matches detected in 2021 to date. Approximately 40 per cent of the suspicious activities reported within domestic soccer competitions comes from third tier leagues and below, including youth level, as fixers increase their attention on lower-level matches.

The rising popularity of esports has made it a target for fixers and has led to a rapid increase in the number of suspicious matches reported. Over 70 suspicious matches have been detected by the UFDS since April last year across five different game titles, with more than 40 of those suspicious matches identified since January this year.

“As our analysis shows, match-fixing is evolving, and those behind it are diversifying their approach, both in the sports and competitions they target, and the way they make approaches to athletes, such as the rise in digital approaches.

Andreas Krannich, Managing Director, Integrity Services at Sportradar

In addition to the suspicious soccer and esports matches detected this year, Sportradar’s UFDS has detected suspicious activity in Tennis: 37 matches; Basketball: 19; Table Tennis: 11; Ice Hockey: nine; Cricket: six, while suspicious activity has also been identified in Volleyball, Handball, and Beach Volleyball.

On a global level, the UFDS has detected 382 suspicious matches in Europe so far this year, with Latin America recording 115 suspicious matches in the same period. That’s followed by the Asia Pacific region with 74, Africa with 43, 10 in the Middle East and nine in North America since the start of January 2021.

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