There is no doubt that UNODC and Fifa are to be commended for taking a proactive response to what is undoubtedly a very difficult time for the sports industry. Yet there is little doubt too of the extent of the threat. In an interview by email, Jake Marsh, who is Global Head of Integrity at Stats Perform told me that “Covid-19 has created fertile conditions for fraudsters and corrupters alike to operate. Sports at all levels are under pressure from a financial perspective as a result of the pandemic and the lower levels— already at higher risk of problems such as match-fixing are now even more exposed". Echoing Barbalis' concerns, and emphasizing the pressure on regulators, Marsh added,
"Fixers are always looking for routes in [to teams, clubs and players], and Covid-19 will provide opportunities they can look to exploit. Even with increased pressure on budgets sports need to be committed now more than ever to investing in their compliance and integrity programs. At Stats Perform we work with numerous rights holders and governing bodies who take a proactive and steadfast approach on integrity and we will be helping them protect their competitions and reputation as we move through this extraordinary period for sport".