West Ham's Lucas Paqueta accused of betting misconduct; would have demanded four yellow cards

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been charged with four serious breaches of the English Football Association's (FA) betting rules, with the governing body claiming he deliberately set out to receive yellow cards in Premier League matches.

The FA alleges that Paqueta deliberately attempted to receive a booking in four matches: Leicester City on November 12, 2022; Aston Villa on March 12, 2023; Leeds United on May 21, 2023; and AFC Bournemouth on August 12, 2023.

A statement from the governing body said: “It is alleged that [Paqueta] directly attempted to influence the proceedings, conduct or any other aspect of or event in these matches by deliberately attempting to receive a card from the referee for the improper purpose of influencing the betting market so that one or more persons may profit from betting.”

Paqueta has not been accused of placing bets himself. The FA has also charged the player with two breaches of rule F3, which relates to investigations it conducts.

Paqueta denies the charges, which were brought after an investigation first came to light in August last year following suspicious betting patterns during West Ham's opening game of the season against Bournemouth, where the 26-year-old was shown a yellow card in the match against Bournemouth. 93rd minute for a collision with Illia Zabarnyi.

“I am extremely surprised and angry that the FA has decided to charge me,” Paqueta said. “For nine months I cooperated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I could. I deny the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name. Due to the ongoing process, I will not be prosecuted. comment further.”

Paqueta's tackle on Soumare, for which he received a yellow card.

Premier League

The other incidents involving Paqueta include a late challenge off the back of Boubakary Soumare in Leicester's 2-0 win at the London Stadium and a foul from behind on John McGinn in a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, a match in which the Premier League's commentary The team noted that the playmaker may have previously received a yellow card for a tackle on Ollie Watkins. He was also charged for a heavy tackle on Cryscencio Summerville as the winger attempted to start a break in a match against Leeds.

“The player has until June 3, 2024 to respond to these charges, subject to a request for an extension of this deadline,” the FA said.

His club, West Ham, stated the following:

“The club acknowledges receipt of the FA complaint received by Lucas Paqueta for alleged breaches of their rules,” a West Ham spokesperson said. “Lucas categorically denies the infringement and will continue to vigorously defend his position.

“The club will continue to support the player throughout the process and will make no further comment until the matter has been concluded.”

News of the investigation last summer led to the collapse of Paqueta's proposed move from West Ham to Manchester City for £80m after the two clubs agreed the deal in principle in August. The Premier League champions were once again linked with a revival of interest this summer, but that now seems unlikely until the allegations are addressed.

Paqueta has also been included in Brazil's Copa America squad this summer.

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