35% of suspect games took place in three countries
21% related to First Half Only betting markets
LONDON, Aug. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New data from sports betting integrity specialists Starlizard Integrity Services (SIS) has identified 79 football matches played around the world between 1 January and 30 June 2023 as "suspicious". Of these, 28 (35%) took place in just three countries, with one of those countries accounting for 12 integrity alerts (15%).
Matches analysed by SIS are categorised as "suspicious" when they are found to have suspect betting patterns associated with them that may be indicative of match-fixing. While the level of suspicion will vary across matches depending on the nature and amount of evidence discovered, SIS believes that all matches so identified would warrant further investigation.
The 79 matches considered "suspicious" in the first half of 2023 represent 0.48% of a total of 16,336 football matches analysed by SIS during the period. This compares with 84 "suspicious" matches (0.45%) from a total of 18,845 games analysed for the same period in 2022.
The SIS 2023 first-six-months data revealed that:
- 28 of the "suspicious" matches (35%) came from three countries, with one country having 12 integrity alerts and another two countries having eight alerts each.
- 24 different countries had at least one integrity alert in a domestic men’s competition.
- Domestic league competitions below the top-level accounted for 48 "suspicious" matches (61%).
- 40 of the "suspicious" matches (51%) were played in the UEFA confederation region, with 11 matches (14%) taking place in the CONMEBOL confederation region.
- 21 matches (27%) were flagged due to suspicious betting patterns in First Half Only betting markets.
- 11 (14%) of the "suspicious" games were international matches – i.e. matches that do not fall within a specific country in any of the prescribed confederation regions, such as international fixtures, cross-border club competitions, and all club team friendly matches.
- Nine of the "suspicious" matches (11%) were non-competitive club friendlies.
Affy Sheikh, Head of Starlizard Integrity Services, commented:
"These statistics show that suspicious betting activity and the spectre of match-fixing continue to hang over football – and are not about to go away. The fact that we’ve seen similar levels of suspicion over the past three years, serves to emphasise that concerted ongoing efforts and stronger collaboration amongst anti-corruption stakeholders are required to tackle this persistent problem in the beautiful game.
"The latest data also points to an increase in suspicious activity in more specialised markets, such as First Half Only betting. This highlights the variety of markets in which attempts at match manipulation may occur. Unfortunately, the increase in integrity alerts from lower domestic leagues again demonstrates the vulnerability of those involved in lower-funded leagues and competitions where continued vigilance and education are of upmost importance."
About Starlizard Integrity Services
Starlizard Integrity Services (SIS) is the specialist integrity division of Starlizard, the London-based sports betting and data consultancy. Starlizard’s detailed understanding of sport and sporting performance, as well as its active involvement in betting markets, affords a unique perspective, enabling the company to know better than anyone else in the world when betting markets and sporting contests look wrong. Starlizard has been producing independent integrity services for sports governing bodies and associations since 2010, and established SIS in 2017 as a dedicated resource to focus entirely on this work. Combining its deep insight into how betting markets should behave with detailed on-pitch performance data analysis and research, SIS is ideally placed to identify suspicious matches and betting patterns. For more information, visit www.starlizardintegrity.com
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