According to FIFA’s Integrity Task Force, there have been no suspicious bets placed during the tournaments, and the 64-game event that was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
FIFA Keeps Women’s World Cup Safe of Manipulation
Match-fixing has been a concern for sports events, particularly FIFA which governs the world’s most popular sport and has to deal with the bulk of match manipulation. Commenting on its findings, FIFA said:
The collaborative effort between FIFA and key international stakeholders in the field of sports integrity ensured an experienced, coordinated, and timely response, with each participating stakeholder contributing their specific expertise throughout the tournament.
The lack of wrongdoing is encouraging pointing to increased scrutiny of the betting markets globally and ensuring the integrity of the competition. The contest was safeguarded by a number of high-profile and ranking law enforcement agencies, including INTERPOL and the FBI that have long been interested in sports fraud as they usually tie it to more serious crimes.
The New Zealand Police and Sport Integrity Australia were also involved. Commenting on its approach, FIFA said that it used big data to analyze betting activity on the event and has not found evidence to suggest that any manipulation had indeed taken place.
This is the latest successful investigation concluded by FIFA’s Integrity Task Force, a fairly new unit that has been hard at work fighting match manipulation. FIFA previously worked hard to ensure the Men’s World Cup in Qatar is safeguarded.
Match Fixing in Sports Continues
However, the fact that FIFA is not finding manipulated games does not mean that corruption is gone from the sport – it may just not be focused on the most prominent events that attract the most eyeballs. Sportradar, a company that follows such instances of match manipulation, was able to track more than 1,000 potentially manipulated games in 2022 alone – the first time Sportradar posted such serious numbers.
The exact number of suspicious matches hit 1,212. Soccer was by far the most attractive sport for potential offenses related to match-fixing with 775 of the alerts focusing on the game.
Sportradar though is more insightful as to the reasons why this happens with the company believing that when many lower-tier athletes retire, they may be tempted to follow down a path that allows them to monetize their inside knowledge through illicit means. Luckily, at least for now, this does not seem to be the case in FIFA.