Bookmakers stop taking World Cup man-of-the-match price bets as scammers target voting

EXCLUSIVE: Bookmakers stop taking bets on World Cup man-of-the-match awards as scammers target voting, with Kevin De Bruyne and Gareth Bale among the big names for unexpectedly picking up gongs

Major bookmakers have stopped taking bets on who will win the Man of the Match award at the World Cup, fearing a scam that could cost them millions.

The price is decided by public vote on the FIFA website, so it’s open to manipulation, and Sportsmail has uncovered evidence of social media tipsters urging their tens of thousands of followers to vote for the players they’re on. have bet.

The match market man has doubled in value over the past week, with FIFA doing nothing to stop such interference.

Major bookmakers have stopped taking bets on man-of-the-match rewards amid assuaged fears

Some of the tipsters have also encouraged bettors to break FIFA rules, which impose a one vote per person limit, by producing a video tutorial showing how to register multiple votes. Tip accounts are largely operated by professional gamblers claiming to offer advice to casual gamblers, but also seeking to influence betting markets to make money for themselves.

This apparent market manipulation produced a series of unexpected man-of-the-match winners, such as Wales captain Gareth Bale against the United States and then Kevin De Bruyne, who declared after the 1-0 victory of the Belgium on Canada: “I don’t think I played a great game and I don’t know why I got the (award). Maybe it’s because of my name.

Sportsmail has learned that as a result of these big name wins, the volume of betting on winners in this country has doubled from around £100,000 per match to £200,000 last Thursday, leading bookmakers to reduce their odds and several to close the market.

Bookmakers were particularly spooked after Cristiano Ronaldo scooped the prize in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana last Thursday as, due to the number of accumulative bets, many would have been looking at payouts of between 1 million and £1.5 million. Had Neymar been named man of the match in Brazil’s win over Serbia later in the day.

‘I don’t think I played a great game’: Kevin de Bruyne couldn’t understand why he won

A tipster bragged about scoring 70 votes for Neymar in a post seen by Sportsmail, although it didn’t pay off as double goalscorer Richarlison scooped the award after his superstar teammate limped off injured.

Sky Bet and William Hill were sufficiently concerned about the weekend to remove the man of the match market from their websites, and Bet365 switched to only accepting single bets to eliminate the risk of being hit by accumulators to success.

A Sky Bet spokesperson said: “We are constantly monitoring the performance of all our markets and on that occasion have taken the business decision to remove this particular market.”

FIFA is aware of the problem, but has taken no action.

Although the award is officially decided by fan poll, Sportsmail has learned that the voting scoreboard is monitored by FIFA officials throughout matches to ensure the results are in line with what is happening. in the field.

Tipster bragged about 70 votes for injured Neymar in Brazil's win over Serbia

Tipster bragged about 70 votes for injured Neymar in Brazil’s win over Serbia

The world governing body did not say whether they overturned the vote to ensure Richarlison was named man of the match ahead of Neymar or if they influenced other fan polls at the World Cup.

The award itself is a large red vase with Budweiser written on the base. However, FIFA has ensured that the trophy does not bear the name of the beer brand when awarded to players from countries where alcohol is banned.

The mark was missing when Iran’s Rouzbeh Cheshmi was named their best player against Wales, and when goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais won it after Saudi Arabia beat Argentina 2-1.

Fifa wouldn't say if they swayed Richarlison in winning man of the match against Serbia

Fifa wouldn’t say if they swayed Richarlison in winning man of the match against Serbia

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