Anti-Match Fixing Overview
Every athlete has the right to compete in “clean and fair sport“. Match fixing, doping and corrupt behaviour are threats to the integrity of sport.
Every athlete has the right to compete in sport which is free from manipulation.
It is a fundamental principle of sport that the result of a match is determined only by the skill and talent of the players in that match – and not by external factors manipulating the result.
Manipulation of a badminton results or match fixing means:
- influencing the course or the result of a badminton match in order to obtain an advantage for yourself or for others; and
- removing all or part of the uncertainty normally associated with the results of a competition.
Examples of match fixing are:
- Deliberately losing a match so you can face an easier opponent in the next round in group play.
- Not using your best efforts and losing a match so you or your friend can make money on your match through betting.
- Offering your opponent money or something of value to lose part or all of the game or match.
People who are corrupt, try and fix matches for two main reasons:
- Sports reasons – to try and get an advantage in the sports competition they are currently in.
- Financial reasons – to make money from corrupt behaviour through match manipulation / match fixing. This may involve betting.
The regulations related to this area are found in Chapter 2 – Ethics, of the BWF Statutes.
The main regulation is the Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions.
You should also look at these other regulations related to ethics and conduct – Chapter 2 – Ethics:
- Code of Ethics
- Players Code of Conduct
- Coaches and Educators Code of Conduct
- Technical Officials Code of Conduct
The main regulation related to the integrity of badminton is the Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions. This is located in Chapter 2 – Ethics, Section 2.4 of the BWF Statutes.
Covered Persons under these regulations are Players, Related Persons, or Tournament Support Personnel.
These are defined below:
- Player: refers to any player who enters or participates in any badminton competition, Event or activity organised or sanctioned by the BWF or any governing body.
- Related Person: refers to any coach, trainer, therapist, physician, management representative, agent, family member, tournament guest, business associate or other affiliate or associate of any Player, or any other person who receives accreditation at an Event at the request of the Player or any other Related Person or a BWF Member.
- Tournament Support Personnel: refers to any tournament director, owner, operator, employee, agent, contractor, tournament volunteer, technical official (referee, umpire, line judge), or any similarly situated person at an Event at the request of Tournament Support Personnel.
The Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions is a complicated set of regulations that each player, coach, team manager and administrator must be familiar with.
There are many offences under this Code. These are called Corruption Offences. As a guide, the main types or groups of corruption offences under the Code are:
- Best Efforts – Not using best efforts.
- Soliciting – Offering anything of value to influence the outcome of a match / part of a match.
- Betting – Betting on badminton (directly or indirectly).
- Inside Information – Using inside information for corrupt purposes.
- Reporting – Not reporting any activity relation to a corruption offences – betting, match manipulation, not using best efforts, using inside information, destroying evidence.
- Cooperation – Not cooperating with investigations.
- Evidence – Destroying, hiding or altering evidence about corruption.
The above is only a guide. It is not the complete wording of the regulations. We advise you to read Section 2.4 of the BWF Statutes – the Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions.
Under the Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions these people cannot bet (directly themselves or indirectly – getting others to bet for you) on badminton:
Players with a world ranking;
- Paid / unpaid staff of the BWF / Continental Confederations
- BWF or Continental Confederation certificated or accredited referee or umpire
- Covered Persons – Players, Related Persons, Tournament Support Personnel.
These people / groups above are also not allowed to directly or indirectly solicit or facilitate any other person to bet on badminton.
You are advised to carefully read, understand and follow the Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions – see Section 2.4 of the BWF Statutes.
Betting on sport is a very common activity and it has increased its popularity over the last 10 years because it is very easy to bet on-line on sports.
Betting operators offer many types of betting opportunities on sport. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. The betting industry provides funding for governments and organised sport through such things as taxes and lotteries grants for sport.
Generally speaking, betting on sport is not bad, provided:
- the betting market is regulated and controlled;
- that individuals who bet, understand the general risks and dangers of gambling addiction and problem gambling;
- that betting on a particular sport is not against the rules of that sport;
- that betting is not against the laws of the country.
The problem comes when betting is unregulated, illegal, where betting is linked to crime or where betting is linked to match manipulation.
Match fixing or match manipulation is one of the biggest threats facing sport today. Match fixing undermines the values of sport such as integrity, fair play and respect for others and the rules.
Sports risk losing fans, sponsors, supporters and credibility if match fixing and match manipulation become a part of the sport.
Furthermore, match fixing often involves organised criminal networks who are active globally and who see betting as a low-risk and high-profit activity when it is associated with betting.
Betting related match fixing is a major risk because it is often linked to crime and being involved could lead to threats to safety of the athletes or their families.
There are a number of key points about match fixing and betting:
- Betting related match-fixing has strong links to crime;
- The fixers work in betting markets that are not regulated and money flows cannot be traced to the source easily.
- There are a large number of unregulated markets globally, and there is easy online access to such markets.
- Crime syndicates can generate large and quick gains through betting.
Everyone in badminton has an obligation to report any activity that could be an offence under the BWF Code on The Prevention Of The Manipulation Of Competitions
Yes – monitoring is a very important part of the anti-match fixing programme.
BWF has agreements with a betting monitoring company that is contracted to monitor all top level BWF sanctioned tournaments globally and the betting patterns on matches.
Every week BWF receives reports from the monitoring of the betting patterns and the reports highlight any suspicious matches where patterns of betting are unusual.
Some of these suspicious matches can be explained by looking at the sporting reasons (injury for example). Others may not be so clear and a classed as suspicious.
BWF gathers this information and stores it in databases where it can be used together with other related information in the future. This could form part of an investigation into match manipulation.
In short, Inside Information is any non-public information relating to a badminton competition which you are aware of due to your involvement in the competition / tournament.
Inside Information refers to information about the likely participation or likely performance of a player in a match / competition / tournament or concerning any other aspect of a competition which is known to a Covered Person and is not information in the public domain.
Everyone involved in a tournament must be careful not to share Inside Information with other players, friends, family or on social media that relates to participation or likely performance of a player.
It is an offence to share Inside Information where that information is then used in a corrupt way.
An approach, is any communication and contact with a player to try and fix a match result or part of a match the player is in.
This kind of direct approach could be by WhatsApp message, text message or verbally and it may come from someone that the player has never met before or a player on the tournament circuit.
Advice to players:
- Always report an attempt to fix a match – use the BWF reporting system.
- Never accept an offer of money to do something in a match related to the score – a fix.
- Be suspicious of strangers not involved in badminton and who seem friendly and approach you and ask questions about other players and their performance levels in the competition or other inside information.
There are people also who are from the criminal world who try and get close to players to influence them and try to get them involved in corrupt behaviour.
The methods they use is varied but it could involve these steps – 1) build a relationship with a player or coach to try and develop trust, 2) buy the player things like meals at restaurants, offer free travel and holidays and then eventually, 3) make offers of money or benefits to the player to manipulate a match.
Players need to be careful about strangers who try and get close to them, who seek information and who offer benefits like free travel and gifts.
Any person at a BWF sanctioned tournament or person involved in badminton – player, coach, administrator, technical official, tournament organiser, volunteer at a tournament (Covered Persons), must report any suspicious behaviour that could be related to match manipulation.
It is an offence for any Covered Persons under the regulations (Players, Related Person and Tournament Support Personnel) not to report to the BWF at the first available opportunity.
You must report:
- an approach by a person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or anything of value to a Player, Related Person and Tournament Support Personnel to (i) influence the outcome or any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information;
- any knowledge or suspicion that any other Covered Person or any other person has committed a Corruption Offence;
- any knowledge or suspicion that any Covered Person has been involved in an incident of a Player not using one’s best efforts to win a match;
- any new knowledge or suspicion regarding any Corruption event following the reporting of an alleged Corruption Offence.
Monitoring and investigations are very important.
BWF gathers information and this is entered into databases. This information is analysed by experts and can be used in investigations,
This information is gathered in many ways including:
- betting monitoring companies who monitor betting patterns on badminton;
- monitoring of match results;
- player interviews – fact finding interviews and integrity interviews;
- alerts received from players or coaches who report suspicious conduct – whistleblower reports;
- reports from Referees of suspicious match play where “best efforts” may not have been used.
This information can be used in investigations to target players for interviews and monitor their competitions and match play.
BWF has a number of investigators who conduct interviews at tournaments, gather information from players and coaches and they also give information to players and coaches about the integrity of sport.
It is your responsibility to:
- cooperate with BWF investigations and investigators.
- report any suspicious conduct that could relate to match manipulation.
- provide any evidence of suspicious behaviour such as WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts.
- keep any evidence of possible corruption – an not destroy, tamper with or hide evidence.
It is an offence to:
- provide inaccurate information.
- omit any relevant information which is requested.
- not comply with a reasonable request imposed on them by an investigator.
- deliberately misleading and investigator or not telling the truth.
The consequences of being found guilty of a corruption offence can be severe.
In April 2018, an Ethics Hearing Panel barred two players from all badminton activities for a period of 20 years (with a fine of USD $25,000) and 15 years (with a fine of USD $15,000) for various offences under the regulations related to match manipulation / match fixing.
An Ethics Hearing Panel can give a range of sanctions or punishments if a person is found guilty of a corruption offence.
- Suspension or exclusion from BWF sanctioned competitions for a number of years – and up to a lifetime ban from badminton competitions;
- Ban from performing any function in badminton in the future;
- Removal of ranking points;
- Return of awards and prizes;
- A fine.
Here is some basic advice for players.
– BE TRUE – Always do your best. Never fix a match.
– BE SAFE – Never bet on badminton.
– BE CAREFUL – Never share information on badminton that could be used for betting.
– BE OPEN – If someone approaches you to cheat – say NO.
– BE SMART – Report any attempt to fix or manipulate a match. It’s your Obligation.
It is important that administrators, coaches and team managers are familiar with the regulations and to assist players in understanding what they can and cannot do.