AFC teams up with Sportradar to counter match-fixing activities

The partnership was announced as an initiative to mediate the issue of match-fixing in football in the region, which has come under scrutiny recently

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced that it will collaborate with Sportradar to monitor a number of AFC-sanctioned events such as the AFC Champions League for betting-related corruption and fraudulent activity.

Sportraadar is the market leading supplier of sports integrity services for sport and the partnership is expected to greatly help AFC to monitor all its matches for possible irregularities.

The firm provides sports federations with unrivalled expertise to monitor betting markets around the world and identify betting-related manipulation in a range of sports.

This move comes after several high-profile match-fixing scandals hit the game, including the recent arrests made by Victorian police,which saw Sportradar successfully aid in investigations.

The seriousness of this case was highlighted when Fifa extended the Australian football-related activity ban imposed on the four players and one official involved in the case to apply worldwide in late October.

Such incidents reflect the true global threat posed by match-fixing in the 21st century, with more diverse methods being employed and previously unaffected countries and leagues being targetted.

As such, AFC are being proactive by installing a robust integrity program and the relationship with Sportradar will be a vital step in safeguarding the integrity of Asian football in the future.

 “AFC’s partnership with Sportradar is the latest step taken to counter the threat that match-fixing poses to football in Asia,” AFC General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay said.

"We look forward to utilising Sportradar’s proven expertise in this field and developing an effective working partnership."

Since 2004, Sportradar has successfully utilised its Fraud Detection System (FDS) to detect any anomaly in odds movements in bookmakers' betting activities and also investigates any suspicious odds movements. This means that the firm has unrivalled experience and expertise in the identification of suspicious betting practices across the world.

Sportradar chief executive officer Carsten Koerl was also happy to have teamed up with the AFC and looked forward to eliminating the threat of match-fixing scandals.

“Sportradar is honoured to have the opportunity to utilise our technology and expertise to work closely with AFC to help protect the integrity of Asian football," he said.

Match-fixing has also been a cause of concern for Singapore lately, with the issue being addressed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in Parliament.

Several arrests have also been made by the Singapore Police Force for incidents related to betting fraudulent acitivities with suspects confirmed as part of match-fixing syndicates operating in Singapore.