Football: Match-fixing scrutiny for Suzuki Cup

Laos' Khampheng Sayavutth (centre) kicks the ball to score against Philippines during their Suzuki Cup soccer match at My Dinh stadium in Hanoi Nov 22, 2014.

SINGAPORE - A specialist agency will look out for suspicious betting patterns during Southeast Asia's Suzuki Cup in a move aimed at stamping out potential match-fixing.

Swiss-based data company Sportradar will monitor all 18 matches and hold workshops for tournament officials, following an agreement with the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).

The eight-team tournament, held every two years, is currently underway in Singapore and Hanoi, two of the countries in Southeast Asia that have had problems with match-fixing and corruption.

"We are not blind to the dangers that match-fixing and manipulation poses," AFF general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad said in a statement.

"Together with the best monitoring system available, we will be vigilant, precisely so that our fans don't have to be." Vietnam has endured a series of corruption scandals, notably in 2007 when a group of players was convicted for fixing an international at the Southeast Asian Games two years earlier.

In July, a Singapore court sentenced nightclub owner Eric Ding to three years in prison for providing prostitutes to three Lebanese football referees in an attempt to rig matches.

And last week the Singapore High Court refused a plea from businessman Dan Tan, who is accused of masterminding an international betting ring, to end his detention without trial which began last year.

"The players and fans will make this (Suzuki Cup) a magic tournament - we will do all we can to keep it honest," said Oscar Brodkin, Sportradar's senior manager in Asia.