FIFA Early Warning System GmbH has confirmed that were no irregular betting activities during the first phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ preliminary competition. It can therefore be concluded that there have been no attempts from betting circles to influence or manipulate approximately 90 matches that have been played since August 2007. In recent months, leading bookmakers, betting operators and betting organisations have signed up to the early warning system and pledged to report any incidences of irregular betting patterns.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, speaking in the light of recent suspicious activity in other competitions, is pleased by these initial results: "The FIFA early warning system passed its first test in 2006 and has since been introduced across the board, and that means that we now have an efficient means of supervising and controlling betting activities."
He is, however, worried by recent developments. "This is a serious threat to football. FIFA expressed concern at recent developments in UEFA's competitions. We have no doubt, however, that UEFA will do everything in its power to resolve the problem. FIFA is of course offering a helping hand by making the early warning system available to all confederations and associations."
This system will be developed further in the months ahead. The objective is to conclude cooperation agreements with the entire bookmaking and betting industry for the early warning system so that those individuals who attempt to manipulate matches for betting purposes will no longer be able to do so. By signing up to the early warning system, bookmakers and betting providers pledge to help FIFA pursue its objective of safeguarding football's integrity by protecting it from negative influences from betting circles.
Early Warning System GmbH, a company based in Zurich, has been operational for the past six months. Its objective is to detect irregular activities in football betting circles and inform FIFA in advance of any possible attempts to influence matches. The early warning system was first tested at all 64 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany. The positive experiences gained prompted the FIFA Congress to formalise the early warning system in late May 2007 and to employ it once again to supervise the preliminary and final competitions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.