March 19, 2024 3 min read


Starlizard Uncovers 167 Suspicious Global Soccer Matches

Starlizard Integrity Services confirmed that to identify the suspicious matches, it analyzed more than 65,000 soccer matches in 2023

Starlizard’s specialist integrity division, Starlizard Integrity Services (SIS), released its latest Football Integrity Report, highlighting suspicious matches identified in 2023. On Tuesday, the company disclosed details regarding its latest report, highlighting that throughout last year, some 167 soccer matches were identified as suspicious.

The company confirmed that the report follows an analysis of more than 65,000 soccer matches across the globe. To determine whether a match was suspicious, the company said it looked for suspicious betting patterns related to the matches that may serve as an indication for match-fixing. SIS wrote: “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.”

Surprisingly, the 167 suspicious soccer matches marked an increase when compared to the 144 identified for 2022. A comparison of the number of identified suspicious games shows an increase of 16% year over year. However, SIS confirmed that in 2023 it analyzed more matches.

In 2022, some 0.39% of the matches were identified as suspicious. In contrast, this percentage decreased within the latest result with Starlizard confirming that 0.26% of analyzed matches were identified as suspicious in 2023.

Match-Fixing Is a Reoccurring, Persistent Threat to the Integrity of Soccer

Affy Sheikh, SIS’ head, spoke about the increased number of matches analyzed by the company last year. He added that the collection of more data allowed the company to gain unique insights into suspected match-fixing. Additionally, Sheikh said: “Unfortunately, our findings reveal a persistent and concerning threat to the integrity of football, with a troubling 167 matches flagged as suspicious.”

By significantly expanding our coverage to include analysis of over 65,000 football matches from 2023, our enhanced data collection enables us to delve deeper into the prevalence of suspected match-fixing.

Affy Sheikh, head of Starlizard Integrity Services

Further details disclosed by SIS reveal that 41.3% or 69 of the suspicious matches were tied to the European region. This result represented 0.18% of the total UEFA matches that were analyzed. On the other hand, the AFC or Asian region reported the highest percentage of suspicious matches from the analyzed sample with a result of 0.47%.

Some 25.2% of all identified suspicious matches were related to top-level leagues. However, nearly half or 49.7% of the suspicious matches in 2023 were related to “domestic leagues just below the top leagues,” said SIS.

Unexpectedly, an increase in the suspicious matches with betting activities in the first half was observed. Out of the total 167 matches, 45 or 27% were related to betting activities only for the first half. In contrast, for 2022, the number of such matches was only six or 4.2% of the total.


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