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West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta Charged with Betting Market Manipulation

West Ham's Lucas Paqueta Charged with Betting Market Manipulation

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been charged by the Football Association (FA) for allegedly receiving yellow cards deliberately “to influence the betting market.”

The charges pertain to a Premier League match against Leicester City on 12 November 2022, as well as fixtures against Aston Villa on 12 March, Leeds United on 21 May, and Bournemouth on 12 August in 2023.

The 26-year-old Brazil international has been under investigation since last summer due to suspicious betting patterns. The FA’s statement alleges Paqueta “intentionally sought to receive a card from the referee for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market.”

Paqueta, who joined West Ham from Lyon for £36.5 million in August 2022, expressed his shock and disappointment over the charges. He stated, “For nine months, I have cooperated fully with the investigation and provided all information I could. I deny all the charges and will fight to clear my name.”

The FA also charged Paqueta with “two breaches of FA Rule F3” for failing to comply with information and documentation requests.

The charges came on the same day West Ham announced Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach following David Moyes’ departure. West Ham released a statement saying they will continue to support Paqueta throughout the process.

Paqueta, selected for Brazil’s squad for the Copa America next month, has until 3 June to respond to the misconduct charges.

The potential penalties for Paqueta range from a six-month to a lifetime ban if the breach is proven. Previous similar cases include Stratford Town defender Kynan Isaac, who was banned for 10 years for spot-fixing during an FA Cup tie.

The Matches in Question:

  1. West Ham 0-2 Leicester – 12 November 2022: Paqueta booked for a ‘lunge’ on Leicester’s Boubakary Soumare in the 60th minute.
  2. West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa – 12 March 2023: Paqueta booked for a ‘lunging challenge’ on John McGinn in the 70th minute.
  3. West Ham 3-1 Leeds United – 21 May 2023: Paqueta booked for pulling back Leeds’ Crysencio Summerville in the 65th minute.
  4. West Ham 1-1 Bournemouth – 12 August 2023: Paqueta booked for handball in the 94th minute.


BBC Sport’s chief football reporter Simon Stone highlights the severity of the charges against Paqueta, emphasizing the potential penalties ranging from six months to a lifetime ban. Stone notes that the situation is more serious than previous betting breaches involving players like Ivan Toney and Kieran Trippier, as Paqueta’s case involves alleged in-game spot-fixing.

Paqueta remains steadfast in his innocence, with West Ham standing by him during the ongoing investigation.

Credit: BBC News

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