Voice of Sport

After Fifa warning over gambling, 22 banned for match-fixing in Asia

Fifa shows intent to 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


WE just reported that Fifa will zero in on football round the world threatened by the scourge of match-fixing amidst the era of feverish gambling over the game. Fifa contractors, Sportradar, have now caught some cheats. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Disciplinary Committee has then issued a life ban from football-related activities to 22 individuals from Laos and Cambodia for involvement in the manipulation of matches.

The matches mainly involve the representative teams of Laos and the club side Lao Toyota FC. The AFC investigation into the manipulation commenced in 2014 and remains ongoing. The investigation has been supported by Sportradar and the Fifa Integrity Unit. In order to protect the integrity of the investigation, specific details including the relevant matches will not be disclosed, AFC said.

Worldwide effect

The AFC has a zero-tolerance policy on match-fixing and its regulations provide for tough sanctions for match manipulation. The decisions have been notified to the Laos Football Federation and the Football Federation of Cambodia. The AFC will request Fifa to extend the bans to have world-wide effect.

Earlier, Fifa had announced they would be monitoring and carrying out intelligence gathering to establish if there was match-fixing of football around the world.

Syndicates

Some countries like Kenya have recently been inundated with the massive growth of gambling around sport and especially in football. The leading betting syndicates apparently make so much money that they even sponsor the domestic leagues, other national sports teams such as in rugby football and even English Premier League clubs.

Local fears around the new fad are due to the feeling that Kenyan law enforcers lack the capacity to prevent vices of money laundering, fraud, match-fixing and corruption around sport. And that could now be in Fifa’s radar. The world soccer body earlier announced that they had concluded an agreement with Sportradar Integrity Services that would 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.

Detection system

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.

Fifa said they would work closely with the six continental confederations (CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, CAF, UEFA, the AFC and the OFC) that comprise FIFA’s member associations to ensure that any findings are provided to the appropriate organisations, and to support any relevant follow-up action or disciplinary proceedings.

Workshops

In addition to monitoring and detection services, Fifa will be able to call on Sportradar’s in-house intelligence and investigation experts. Sportradar will also deliver a full range of fraud prevention services and provide a programme of educational workshops and e-learning solutions, as well as a bespoke app to enable players, coaches and staff to understand the importance of protecting the integrity of football and the repercussions of fraudulent activities. The app will allow them to confidentially and anonymously report any concerns.

The individuals caught in the Asian purge:

Vathana Keodouangdeth
Odien Syharlad
Sitthideth Khanthavong
Anousay Noyvong
Thenthong Phonsettha
Soulasack Vongsengdeuan
Vongdalasene Sayoulasouk
Paseuthsack Souliyavong
Xaisongkham Champathong
Khouanta Sivongthong
Maitee
Dao Khotsaya
Soubandit Thammavong
Phoutthakone Keovongsa
Soulixay Inthasene
Seny Sangsuvanh
Hang Sukonthea
Peas Sothy

Saynakhonevieng Phommapanya – (provisionally suspended in November 2016)
Chintana Souksavath – (provisionally suspended in November 2016)
Moukda Souksavath – (provisionally suspended in November 2016)
MPhatthana Syvilay – (provisionally suspended in November 2016). Of the 22 individuals, 15 are current or former Laos or Lao Toyota FC players

– Additional reporting by Agencies