Bookmakers 17 oct 2023 at 13:28

Belgium vs Sweden was not played. What happens to the bet if the match is cancelled or abandoned?

James Moses
Belgium vs Sweden was not played. What happens to the bet if the match is cancelled or abandoned?

The Euro 2024 qualification match between the national teams of Belgium and Sweden on the 16th of October was interrupted after the first half. Prior to the opening whistle, an unknown assailant shot two Swedish fans within five kilometers of the stadium. Both teams' footballers became aware of this news during halftime and declined to continue the contest.

The fate of the game will be determined by UEFA, but what's crucial here is how the betting odds are settled when a match is canceled or postponed. Will there be a refund or should one await the final whistle? Let us delve into this matter.

First and foremost, it's worth noting that much depends on the bookmaker; each of them may interpret such an unusual situation differently. In any case, we advise you to reach out to your bookmaker through their contact form if you are unsure and seek an official response.

Abandoned Match

The match between Belgium and Sweden falls precisely into this category. This classification applies to games that commenced but did not reach a conclusion. Various factors could be the cause: weather conditions (such as heavy rain or snowfall) or security issues (fan behavior in the stands or external factors).

From a betting perspective, such a match is considered incomplete, and thus, the bookmaker must provide a refund. Some markets or bets that had already played out in this game (e.g., goals) may be settled - in which case, you either win or lose. For example, a bet on a goal by Romelu Lukaku, who scored in the Belgium vs Sweden game, will be settled. However, wagers on totals or exact scores will not be settled.

  • Also read: The venues for Euro 2028 and 2032 have been officially designated. Who is the favorite for Euro-2024?

Postponed Match

Sometimes, organizers may decide to delay the start of a game by several tens of minutes or even hours. The reasons can be the same as in the previous case: adverse weather conditions or security measures. One example is the Atalanta - Villarreal match in the UEFA Champions League 2021/2022 when the match was postponed by almost a day due to heavy snowfall in Italy.

Most bookmakers will reschedule bets on these games to the new dates as long as the match is played within 24-72 hours (this timeframe is individually determined by each bookmaker). It is generally considered a short enough period not to significantly affect the outcomes and established odds. However, if the game is postponed for more than 48 hours or a new date is not confirmed, the player should receive a refund. A change in the match venue is also treated as a refund.

Cancelled Match

Often, most of these matches are among those that do not take place at their originally scheduled time. Consequently, the reasons for cancellation are much more diverse: adverse weather, security breaches, fixture conflicts, epidemics within specific clubs, or military actions in the region. For example, due to the latter reason, the Israel vs Switzerland match in the Euro 2024 qualifiers in October did not occur. However, cancellations often occur in friendly matches; every day during the offseason, at least a dozen matches, including those involving top clubs, are cancelled.

Typically, bookmakers simply annul such matches and then refund the bets. Some bookmakers, when canceling matches, initially refer to them as postponed games, but after the procedural 24-72 hours have passed, they classify them as cancelled. Therefore, in this case, there is no need to worry prematurely.