Paqueta accused of betting market yellow cards

Paqueta accused of betting market yellow cards

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been charged by the Football Association for allegedly getting booked deliberately "for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market".

The four charges relate to a Premier League game against Leicester City on 12 November in 2022, plus 2023 fixtures against Aston Villa on 12 March, Leeds United on 21 May and Bournemouth on 12 August.

The 26-year-old Brazil international had been under investigation since last summer over suspicious betting patterns.

An FA statement said: "It's alleged that he [Paqueta] directly sought to influence the progress, conduct, or any other aspect of, or occurrence in these matches by intentionally seeking to receive a card from the referee for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market in order for one or more persons to profit from betting."

Paqueta, who joined West Ham from Lyon for an initial £36.5m in August 2022, said he was "extremely surprised and upset" by the charges.

"For nine months, I have co-operated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I can. I deny all the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name," he added.

Paqueta has also been charged with "two breaches of FA Rule F3 in respect of alleged failures to comply pursuant to FA Rule F2", which relates to providing information and documents.

The charges came on the same day the Hammers confirmed the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach following the departure of David Moyes.

A West Ham statement said: "The club will continue to stand by and support the player throughout the process."

Paqueta, who has been picked in Brazil's squad for the Copa America next month, has until 3 June to respond to the charge of "misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of FA Rules E5 and F3" subject to any request for an extension.

The games FA charges relate to West Ham 0-2 Leicester - 12 November 2022

Paqueta booked for a 'lunge' on Leicester midfielder Boubakary Soumare in the 60th minute.

He is booked at 1-0 and the match finishes 2-0 to Leicester.

West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa - 12 March 2023

Paqueta booked for what is described as a 'lunging challenge' on John McGinn in the 70th minute, with the score at 1-1.

West Ham 3-1 Leeds United - 21 May 2023

Paqueta is booked for pulling back Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville on the counter-attack in the 65th minute.

It happens at 1-1, with West Ham going on to win 3-1.

West Ham 1-1 Bournemouth - 12 August 2023

In the opening game of this season, Paqueta is booked for handball in the 94th minute, with the match finishing 1-1.

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