As football predictions 1×2 prepares to resume in Europe after the worst of the Covid-19 virus appears to have passed, clubs are beginning their preparations with friendly fixed matches against each other.
After the sport’s enforced absence, these supposedly non-competitive games will be far more important than normal for fans and bookmakers, but also for match-fixers. With little or no football being played during the worst of the virus, match-fixers were left frustrated at the lack of action and the swathe of forthcoming friendlies offer a unique window of opportunity.
Thus fixed matches are routinely offered on the gambling markets by both more responsible regulated operators and the unlicensed sector, mainly based in Asia, where huge sums are bet on football.
During the worst of the virus, some of the more desperate operators offered sure bets on soap football. Others offered the Taiwanese university football league or even in some cases bets on deaths from Covid-19. Now, with a rash of friendlies about to be played, well-regulated operators and the unlicensed sector will both have seemingly more credible bets to offer.
Warning, anyone can fix
Andre Noel Chaker, Director of the Finnish National Lottery and a representative of the World Lottery Association, agreed with Hill about the importance of the internet to the rise of match fixing.
Match fixing is “bigger than ever”, and the growth of the phenomena is due not least to the ability of viewers to watch thousands of sports matches over the internet, he said.
Sport’s corporate and financial governance has an “inherent weakness” that criminals are eager to exploit, he added. The presence of 15,000 illegal betting sites in Europe alone provides an indication of the size of problem.