Sportradar has praised the effectiveness of its Fraud Detection System (FDS) after it was able to identify instances of match-fixing across Brazil, highlighting the importance of collaboration across the region.

In November 2020, the Paulista Football Federation (FPF) sanctioned three clubs – Barretos EC, Olimpia FC and Paulista FC – for match-fixing activities.

The case was successfully brought by the FPF which had worked in close collaboration with Sao Paulo Civil Police, state prosecutors, and Sportradar Integrity Services.

Juan Mendez, Business Development Manager at Sportradar Integrity Services, explained: “Sportradar is committed to supporting our partners at each step of the investigative process. Our FDS once again proved to be critical to detect the irregularities recorded in the betting markets, which allowed us to inform the Paulista Football Federation in real time, and also support the police investigation, which included providing expert testimony during preliminary auditions

“We are delighted to see that our FDS reports have once again been considered reliable evidence to help support proceedings in a major sporting court. The judgement represents another milestone for Sportradar Integrity Services, as we continue to support our global partners in the fight against match-fixing.”

Each of the three clubs received a four month ban as well as a fine. The sanctions were also issued to playing and coaching staff, with seven players and one coach from across the clubs also receiving fines and playing bans of up to one year.

Margarete Barreto, Interim Magistrate for the FPF, said in a statement: “In recent years, the FPF has adopted several prevention measures against match-fixing. This includes educating athletes and coaches about the threat of match-fixing to the integrity of the game, and applying bet monitoring to our matches, through our specialist partners at Sportradar Integrity Services. 

“However, when match-fixing cases are verified, we need to take decisive action as we did here, and we welcome the Court of Sports Justice (TJD-SP) upholding the sanctions we imposed on the three clubs. 

“We must avoid match-fixing affecting the fair play of our game at all costs, and we hope these decisive actions send a message to others that these activities will not be tolerated in our competitions. We congratulate the TJD-SP team and its president Dr. Olim, and our partners at Sportradar, for the collaboration which led to this result.”

From Barretos EC, goalkeeper Pedro Ernesto Alves was handed a six-month ban and fined $420 while goalkeeping coach Maiken Dilso Kehrwald was given a 24-match ban and $1,800 fine. Players Roberth Melonio da Silva, Edson Rocha, Deriky William Santos da Silva and Fabrício Pereira de Oliveira were all banned for a year and each given a fine of $940.

Paulista FC defender Samuel Sampaio was issued a one-year ban and fined $470. Meanwhile Fernando Andrade, a defender from Olimpia FC was given a one-year ban and fined $470.

Mariana Chamelette, criminal lawyer and Prosecutor of the Sports Court of Football, concluded: “These cases demonstrate the zero tolerance approach to match-fixing within Paulista football, which is becoming an increasing issue across Brazilian football. It shows that even more important than investigating and punishing those involved, is to prevent the match manipulations in the first place. 

“Match-fixing prevention must be addressed at all clubs, as they have a moral obligation to educate and supervise their athletes. Sport is passionate, because it is unpredictable. Therefore, unpredictability is essential to the very existence of sport. 

“Thus it is expected that managers, coaches, referees, athletes – in short, all those involved in sports practice – understand the seriousness of the issue faced, and place the preservation of sports integrity as a priority.”