AFF to monitor 550 betting operators in fight for clean 2016 Suzuki Cup
The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) say they will work hard to ensure that that the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup will be free of match-fixing.
Sports data provider Sportsradar will once again be entrusted to monitor over 550 relevant betting operators across all 18 matches of the tournament, which begins on Saturday.
Should they sense any anomaly, the regional body will be notified, along with the authorities.
"The fact that match fixers are everywhere cannot be denied. They are getting increasingly creative to alter match results," AFF general-secretary Datuk Seri Azzuddin Ahmad told ESPN FC.
"But Sportsradar are here to assist us to combat match-fixing. If they get an indication that matches are being fixed, they will give us a comprehensive report from their betting house.
"They will analyse the players' and officials' performance, minute-by-minute. But there are many contributing factors to determine if players are on the take, so the relevant authorities will have to probe the person in question further."
Match-fixing in Southeast Asia is still a problem, despite concerted efforts to curb the ever-expanding tentacles of bookies.
Earlier this month, four Laos players were provisionally suspended by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for match-fixing during the AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia.
Four months earlier, two Thai referees received life bans for their involvement in fixing matches, dating back to 2012.
Cambodian league champions Phnom Penh Crown FC were also banned from the 2017 AFC Cup qualifying rounds for match-fixing in June, before the Court of Arbitration for Sport rescinded their decision in August.
At the 2014 AFF Cup, the Vietnam national team were investigated after they threw away a 2-1 first-leg semifinal lead over Malaysia, to lose the reverse fixture 4-2 in Hanoi.
National investigators reportedly went as far as to examine the bank accounts of the Vietnamese defenders involved in the defeat.
Vietnam were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
For this edition, Sportsradar will be working closely with the police, and the local anti-corruption agencies of co-hosts Myanmar and Philippines.
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.