Singapore Football

Sportradar to monitor S.League

AFC signs deal with sports betting analysis company to combat match-fixing

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will monitor 4,500 matches for corruption under an extended partnership agreement with a British-based betting fraud prevention and detection firm announced on Thursday.

Illegal betting syndicates in Asia have plagued several sports, notably cricket, while Singapore has been called a hub for football match-fixing.

The AFC first joined forces with Sportradar in 2013 to monitor its tournaments but the new agreement, launched in Doha, will also cover the top professional leagues in each of its 47 member associations, including the S.League.

In addition, prominent continental and regional tournaments will also be monitored by the specially designed AFC Monitoring System (AMS), with 4,500 matches across Asia each year coming under its remit.

Sportradar spokesman Alex Inglot said the system relied on a combination of mathematical and human intelligence.

"The first part is the technology, which is an algorithm we have developed that filters through five billion data sets every day from 450 betting operations around the world - legal and illegal, Europe and Asia, betting exchanges and national lotteries," Inglot told AFP.

"We split a market into pre-match and live betting. In the pre-match market, we are looking for anomalies and unexpected movements in the odds. In the live market, we look for deviations from what our system expects.

"The second phase is that we have 35 expert analysts split between London, Hong Kong and Sydney, whose job is to put into context those anomalies and movements in a market.

"They come from different parts of the betting and sports industries...

"We also have 150 freelance journalists around the world adding extra details.

"Last year we monitored 65,000 matches in 11 different sports."

FEDERATIONS

Among the federations who work with Sportradar are the International Cricket Council, World Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, as well as football's Uefa and Concacaf confederations.

"Our reports have launched and supported over a hundred successful sporting sanctions and over 170 arrests," said Inglot.

While Singapore's domestic football league has managed to stay clear of the match-fixing malaise in recent years, local match riggers such Wilson Raj Perumal and Dan Tan have gained global notoriety for the exploits abroad.

After Tan's arrest last November, then-Interpol chief Ronald Noble said his Singapore-based syndicate was the world's "largest and most aggressive match-fixing syndicate, with tentacles reaching every continent".

- Wire Services.

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