FIFA, in conjunction with its integrity partners and in particular with its service provider Sportradar, identify and analyse betting behaviour and patterns across a number of international and domestic football competitions around the globe, including the recent FIFA World Cup™ in Russia.
Following the conclusion of the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, an analysis of betting turnover was carried out by FIFA and Sportradar. This analysis found that total global betting turnover for the tournament was an estimated €136 billion and no match manipulation behaviour was detected.
The average match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia had an estimated global betting turnover of €2.1 billion with the final, between Croatia and France, generating an estimated €7.2 billion in betting turnover worldwide. Croatia had the highest average betting turnover per match, and in all likelihood, would have been a very profitable team for bookmakers globally with:
- Opening odds of around 34.0
- Being the underdog in their victories against Argentina and England
- Round of 16, Quarter and Semi Final matches all being decided during extra time or by penalty shootout. Since bookmakers settle all match winner bets based upon the result after 90 minutes, the three draws in those matches would have been the least favoured by bettors
Besides various measures taken by FIFA to prevent and address potential situations of risk associated with match manipulation prior and during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the competition was closely monitored for any instance of suspicious betting patterns around matches, in order to preserve fairness for fans, players and the tournament itself. Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System monitored over 550 betting operators worldwide, generating some alerts during the competition, which are easily explained by markets adjusting the opening odds after the first match or two were played.
Following an in-depth, qualitative analysis of the overall volume and movement odds within the betting market, no matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia were found to be suspicious of match manipulation or betting fraud.