The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported a 48% increase in instances of suspicious betting in 2020, from 183 to 270, including a 25% increase in football alerts.
There were 61 cases of suspicious betting on football reported to the relevant authorities last year, up from 48 in 2019, with 10 of those alerts coming from Vietnam.
The concerning figures come after the Asian Football Confederation claimed last year it was winning the war on match-fixing in football, stating at the time that “the preventive measures we’ve introduced have produced positive results.”
The increase in suspicious football betting alerts, particularly in Vietnam, comes despite an overall reduction in alerts across all sports in Asia, which fell from 52 in 2019 to 45 in 2020.
According to figures released by the IBIA on Wednesday, tennis again accounted for the most alerts with 98, slightly down from 101 in 2019. Four sports – tennis, football, table tennis and eSports – made up 86% of all suspicious alerts while a total of 15 sports in 43 different countries generated alerts.
Twelve criminal or sporting sanctions were placed on players or teams based on IBIA data.
“2020 was a turbulent year for many sectors including the betting industry, which had to adjust its market offering due to the global sports lockdown,” said IBIA’s CEO, Khalid Ali. “As a result, IBIA focused its integrity monitoring activity to take account of new sports tournaments and competitions that emerged.
“The association is seeking to work with stakeholders to address any potential integrity issues that may be associated with these new events through a range of actions, including promoting a set of standards for the collation of sports data for betting. Whilst there was an increase in overall alerts from 2019 to 2020, it should be noted that the 2020 cases are consistent with the number of alerts reported in both 2017 and 2018.”