Fifa, soccer’s world governing body, has announced that the 2018 World Cup in Russia generated an estimated global figure of US$159.7 billion in betting turnover.
On average, each game from the tournament is said to have resulted in a universal turnover of approximately US$2.4 billion. The final, which saw France defeat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow to secure a second World Cup crown for the European nation, saw US$8.2 billion turned over worldwide in betting.
Analysis of the betting behaviour during the 32-team tournament was carried out by Swiss sports data company Sportradar, Fifa’s services provider.
The firm's study also concluded that the competition was free of any obvious evidence of manipulation of matches, judging by the betting behaviour on show.
A Fifa statement read: ‘Sportradar’s fraud detection system monitored over 550 betting operators worldwide, generating some alerts during the competition, which are easily explained by markets adjusting the opening odds after the first match or two were played.
‘Following an in-depth, qualitative analysis of the overall volume and movement odds within the betting market, no matches at the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia were found to be suspicious of match manipulation or betting fraud.’