Starlizard Integrity Services Identifies 167 Suspicious Football Matches Played Globally in 2023

By | March 21, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Sports integrity specialists Starlizard Integrity Services (SIS) have identified 167 football matches played around the world in 2023 as suspicious.

In a major study, covering more than 65,000 football matches, SIS found that 167 (0.26%) showed indicators of potential manipulation. This represents an increase of 16% on the number identified in 2022 (144), although SIS analysed more matches in 2023, which means the percentage of suspicious matches decreased from 0.39% in 2022 to 0.26% in 2023.

The SIS 2023 data revealed that:

  • 69 of the matches assessed as suspicious (41.3%) were played in the UEFA (European) region. However, this represents only 0.18% of the total UEFA region matches analysed – below the overall global percentage of 0.26%.
  • The AFC (Asian) region saw the highest regional percentage of suspicious matches at 0.47%, although 0.52% of all international matches analysed were also assessed as suspicious.
  • Just under half (49.7%) of all suspicious matches identified in 2023 were played in domestic leagues below the top leagues.
  • Top-level leagues themselves were not immune, with just over a quarter (25.2%) of all suspicious matches identified being in this category.
  • The risks to club friendly and youth matches are disproportionately high, accounting for 10.8% and 6% of the suspicious matches respectively, despite representing just 2.9% and 3.5% of all the games analysed in 2023.
  • Whilst Full-Time betting markets still dominate suspicious betting activity, there has been a significant rise in suspicious betting on First-Half Only markets. Of the 167 matches identified as suspicious in 2023, 45 (27%) involved betting solely on the First-Half Only markets, which represents a marked increase from only six games (4.2%) identified in 2022.

Matches analysed by SIS are categorised as “suspicious” when they are found to have suspect betting patterns associated with them that may be indicative of match-fixing. While the level of suspicion will vary across matches depending on the nature and amount of evidence discovered, SIS believes that all matches so identified would warrant further investigation.

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