LONDON/ZURICH: FIFA has undertaken a major overhaul of its work to check and control illegal betting attacks on world football writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The world federation has operated its own ‘early warning system’ for the past 10 years with a major focus on betting patterns surrounding the World Cup qualifying tournament and finals.
Now it has outsourced the work to specialist company Sportradar whose own ‘fraud detection system’ has been operating across 13 sports after a growing series of partnerships with national and international federations.
These include the AsianFootball Confederation, South America’s CONMEBOL and the Europeam federation UEFA of which FIFA president Gianni Infantino was formerly general secretary.
Sportradar also provides a protection system to bookmakers while FIFA had previously promoted the credibility of its own system for operating independently of the betting industry.
In a statement, the company said: “Sportradar Integrity Services . . . will provide world football’s governing body with a full suite of monitoring, education and intelligence services to further strengthen the integrity of football around the globe.
“Under the terms of the new agreement, Sportradar, the global leader in match manipulation detection and prevention, will use its award-winning fraud detection system to identify and analyse any suspicious betting behaviour or patterns across a number of international and domestic competitions around the world.”
Infantino said: “Preserving the integrity of the game is paramount to FIFA.” In an indirect criticism of FIFA’s own original early warning system he thought the Sportradar deal would “invigorate and enhance our integrity programme.”