As part of its efforts to protect the integrity of the game of football, FIFA has extended its early warning system for monitoring sports betting to take in the preliminary competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Early Warning System GmbH, a company founded specifically for this purpose with its own staff and offices in Zurich, has been contracted to undertake this task and started the relevant work on 1 July 2007.
FIFA’s actions are intended to prevent sports betting from having any negative impact on football matches and, at the same time, raise awareness of this problem throughout the entire football community. To achieve these goals, FIFA will offer support from a technical perspective and in terms of manpower through Early Warning Systems GmbH.
Furthermore, FIFA will immediately sign contracts via the company with bookmakers and betting organisations, under which the latter will be required to report any irregular betting activities. The ever-increasing range of sports bets now available, largely as a result of advances in new media and internet technology, is having a growing influence on football at national and international level.
In the light of various betting scandals in recent years, FIFA set up an early warning system prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and successfully piloted the scheme during the tournament.
The experience gained prompted this year’s FIFA Congress in Zurich on 31 May to formalise the early warning system and employ it once again for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa. As mentioned, FIFA has extended its early warning system to take in the 2010 FIFA World Cup preliminary matches as well.
Through this cooperation the WLA aims not only to protect the integrity of the game of football, but to also safeguard the members’ betting systems and products. Under the agreement, WLA will provide Early Warning System GmbH with betting information to assist investigation of suspicious betting patterns such as unusually high betting turnover in a match, an unusual distribution of bets on the outcome of a match, valid rumors questioning the credibility of a match or any other relevant information which could be useful for other lotteries in regards to such match-fixing speculation connected with FIFA competition matches.