AFC (Asian Football Confederation), together with its integrity partner, cited that over the last six years, Asia has observed a sharp plunge in match-fixing. However, the growth in illicit gambling was due to cryptocurrencies use as a payment method.
Swiss-based Sportradar has remained a significant partner in the fight against corruption initiative of AFC since 2013. The partnership, after the last month renewal, would work through to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup that would be held in China.
Match-fixing has been driven by illicit gambling, a business which, according to Transparency International, was worth about $400 billion in Asia. The Director of Legal Affairs and General Counsel of AFC, Benoit Pasquier, cited since 2013, they have observed a notable reduction in the number of incidences related to match-fixing.
He further added that from 2016 they had observed a 21% decline in match-fixing across the continent, and with their efforts at the same time with Sportradar, the preventive actions they have started had given positive results.
Sportradar Director of Intelligence & Investigation Services, Oscar Brodkin, stated that low wages were among primary reasons match-fixing became a notable threat in Asia.
He further cited that Asia was at the highest risk because most of the continent sat in the sweet spot of high coverage and low wages.
Brodkin said few large global syndicates worked “with all whistles and bells of an established crime syndicate” before 2013. He added that with crucial figures being disrupted or imprisoned and very famous cases being addressed in the media, match-fixing from the past five years became very much fragmented.
As stated by Brodkin, the system of Sportradar worked on data gathered by analysing millions of some 5,000 corrupted and clean matches, together with odds provided by 600 bookmakers.
Also, AFC has made it simpler for players, fans and authorities to report suspicions related to match-fixing by starting a mobile app in 2017. As the renewal to the partnership, the app would be upgraded to enable reporting of cases regarding bullying, doping and harassment.