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FIFA Reports No Suspicious Bets During World Cup

Integrity monitoring is an essential component of any large international sporting event these days and the FIFA Women’s World Cup was no exception. According to the the FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force his year’s Women’s World Cup, however, went off without any suspicious betting activity. That’s a huge accomplishment for an event that featured 64 matches spread out across a month of continuous women’s soccer.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force is comprised of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the Council of Europe’s Group of Copenhagen, United Lotteries for Integrity in Sports, the International Betting Integrity Association, Sportradar, Sport Integrity Australia and the New Zealand Police. That’s quite a bit of legal firepower concentrated on one task, but the stakes are high when it comes to international events of this level.

Representatives of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force released a statement this week detailing their success in keeping suspicious betting out of the tournament earlier this week. FIFA emphasized the international scope of their integrity unit saying, “The collaborative effort between FIFA and key international stakeholders in the field of sports integrity ensured an experienced, coordinated and timely response – based on information and data – to any alert during the competition, with each participating stakeholder contributing their specific expertise (investigative and/or technical) throughout the tournament.”

Although vigilance is essential to keeping big events like the World Cup secure, many experts say big events aren’t as appealing to match-fixers as one might think. The main reason being that there generally isn’t enough liquidity in these betting markets to make match-fixing worthwhile. Regardless, as long as there are criminal elements looking for easy money, FIFA and other sporting bodies will continue hunting for irregularities in sports betting markets.