Brazil Tops the List of Games Suspected for Result Manipulation

Brazil Tops the List of Games Suspected for Result Manipulation

The Public Ministry of Goiás investigated the manipulation of results in matches of the Brasileirão last year. Brazil is now leading the ranking of matches in sport with suspected manipulation.

According to a report prepared by global consultancy Sportradar, based in Switzerland, out of approximately 9 thousand matches monitored in Brazilian football in 2023, suspicions of match manipulation were identified in 109 of them, which is 1.21% of the total.

The consultancy uses an artificial intelligence tool to identify suspicious games, which are those where there are related sports bets that deviate from the sport’s standard. The games then undergo a detailed human analysis to confirm those that should be classified as suspicious.

Sports Law specialist Marcel Belfiore stated that Brazil legalized betting on sporting events at the end of 2018. Over the next four years, there was a significant increase in the activity without any sector regulations. This lack of regulation has led to the increase of match manipulation.

In December 2023, the Chamber of Deputies approved the project that regulates fixed-rate bets. At the end of January, the government created the Prizes and Betting Secretariat, which will be responsible for regulating and monitoring the betting and online gaming market.

Despite leading the survey, Brazilian football recorded a 29% drop in games suspected of manipulation in 2023, compared to the previous year. This was the first reduction since 2020, with sector regulation and the MP investigation helping to curb the practice.

Operation Maximum Penalty by the Public Ministry demonstrated the existence of a scheme to manipulate football matches for illicit gain on sports betting sites. The matches under investigation include the duel between Avaí and Flamengo for the 2022 Brazilian Championship.

Of the matches identified by Sportradar with suspected manipulation, 15 were played in competitions organized by the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) and 94 by state federations.

Brazil leads the ranking of suspicious games. The Czech Republic, second on the list, had 67 matches considered to have an increased risk of manipulation, followed by the Philippines with 65, and Russia with 55 games.

To reduce the risk of manipulation, CBF created the Brazilian Football Integrity Unit in November last year. Last year, the CBF also signed a cooperation agreement with the Federal Police to combat match-fixing in football. Under the agreement, the PF will receive a copy of all reports on suspicious cases detected by Sportradar.

Football is the sport where the most matches with suspected manipulation occur, according to the report. In total, the consultancy detected 1,329 suspicious matches last year in 11 sports and 105 countries, an increase of 9% compared to 2022. Of the total, 66.2% were in football.

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