The increase in the number of match-fixing in football has been drawing attention in recent years, as this problem is usually related to sports betting. However, many actions are being taken – including by FIFA itself – to prevent this type of fraud around the world.
Recently, several cases of manipulation of sports results at the state level have been reported, and the police have already started investigations to understand the origin and inhibit this type of problem in sports.
VEJA published an article that shows the most recent cases and shows that this is happening more frequently, highlighting the measures being taken to avoid manipulation of results in games and sports betting.
Read the full article on football and sports betting fraud
The Civil Police of São Paulo is currently investigating eighteen cases of manipulation of sports results in state football, which came through complaints from athletes involved or from the São Paulo Football Federation (FPF) through a private monitoring service aimed at detecting this type of abuse. fraud. There are eleven open police inquiries involving seventeen football matches in the women’s Brasileirão, Copa Paulista, Série B (the state’s fourth division) and Campeonato Paulista under-20.
Most of the complaints involve the suspicion that bets made on sports betting sites guided the final result of the match, as shown in a report by VEJA in this week’s edition. An example was the game between Taubaté x Atibaia, held on September 14, 2021 by Copa Paulista. In the final third of the match, when the score was 1-0 for Atibaia, the company Sportradar, which provided monitoring service to the FPF, indicated a high volume of bets on the Chinese website Nova88 in the indication that the game would end with at least three added goals, without this corresponding to the logic of the duel.
The score ended in 2 to 1 for Atibaia, with two goals scored in the 31st and 42nd minutes of the second half, as bets predicted. The report sent to the Civil Police, which asked for the investigation to be opened, describes the evidence as “indisputable and indisputable” and indicates that Taubaté was possibly an accomplice in the manipulation of the result, as the goalkeeper and defenders had “deficient performance” at important moments in the match. match.
In another example, by Série B do Paulista, an abnormal volume of bets was also detected in the Asian market that Andradina would lose by at least three goals from Catanduva, in June 2022. Who raised the suspicion was Stats Perform, a company that provides the current monitoring service in São Paulo football. When analyzing the bids of the match, which ended in 7 to 1 for Catanduva, one of Andradina’s defenders was found to attempt an own goal with a heel. The team has been suspended from the championship, as well as the players, but the investigation has not yet been completed.
In the same division, the game between XV de Jaú x Batatais raised more suspicions due to the high number of corners in the first half. Bets on the number of corners is one of the specifics offered by bookmakers that make it difficult to monitor this type of fraud, since it is a more subjective criterion to be evaluated.
After the game, a Batatais player told the FPF that the team’s coach offered him 2,500 reais to help him take several corners and that the score be more than two goals, regardless of the team. The player did not accept and ended up withdrawn from the squad that traveled to the match, which ended in 4 to 1 for the XV. Batatais is suspected of having manipulated the results of games another five times this year alone, and the coach and players involved have already terminated their contract with the club.
Most of the cases, at least in São Paulo, involve small teams from the interior that compete in smaller divisions. However, people linked to the investigations are already aware that the money that circulates in the business (15 billion reais in 2022, in Brazil alone), combined with the possibility of betting on specific moves in the game, increases the chances of cases like these. appear in the elite of Brazilian football.
Proof of this is that one of the investigations opened by the Civil Police in São Paulo involves a women’s Brasileirão game, between Santos x Red Bull Bragantino, in June this year. On the occasion, the Bragantino goalkeeper denounced that the Santos goalkeeper coach, Fabrício de Paula, offered up to 10 thousand reais for her to take five goals in the game, in addition to 5 thousand for a masseuse and wardrobe from the same club, who intermediated the conversation. The case was openly reported by the media at the time. The goalkeeper refused, did not play and made the complaint to her team’s football director, who passed it on to the FPF. Fabricio was fired for cause and the investigation has not yet been completed.
The day after the publication of this article, Esporte Clube Taubaté, through its press office, reported that the case involving the club had already been filed by the Court of Sports Justice (TJD), in the administrative sphere, and that “it made itself available to and contributed fully to the investigations, the same behavior in the investigation carried out by the Civil Police”. In addition, the club states that it “has confidence that the athletes and members of the coaching staff of the match in question would not be involved in any type of similar practice, totally repudiated by an institution with honest professionals and a century-old history”.