Manchester City target Lucas Paqueta risks lengthy ban for match fixing as FA probe ‘intentional’ yellow cards

Lucas Paqueta under investigation for betting breach || Photo Credit: Getty

Manchester City target Lucas Paqueta risks lengthy ban for match fixing as FA probe ‘intentional’ yellow cards

Ayoola Kelechi 19:47 - 23.05.2024

The Brazilian star could face a long ban from football, potentially missing out on a move to Manchester City

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta faces serious charges from the Football Association (FA) for allegedly intentionally getting yellow cards to influence betting markets.

The charges, which Paqueta vehemently denies, are a result of four specific matches: against Leicester City on 12 November 2022, Aston Villa on 12 March 2023, Leeds United on 21 May 2023, and Bournemouth on 12 August 2023.

FA officially charge Paqueta

The FA's statement on the matter alleges that 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."

The FA's charges cite specific incidents in the four matches where Paqueta's actions raised suspicions:

1. West Ham 0-2 Leicester City (12 November 2022): Paqueta received a yellow card for a lunge on Leicester's Boubakary Soumare in the 60th minute when the score was 1-0. The match ended 2-0 in favor of Leicester.

2. West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa (12 March 2023): He was booked for a lunging challenge on John McGinn in the 70th minute with the score tied at 1-1. The match finished in a draw.

3. West Ham 3-1 Leeds United (21 May 2023): Paqueta was booked for pulling back Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville on a counter-attack in the 65th minute when the score was 1-1. West Ham eventually won the match 3-1.

4. West Ham 1-1 Bournemouth (12 August 2023): In the opening game of the season, Paqueta received a yellow card for handball in the 94th minute, with the match ending in a draw.

Paqueta’s response to allegations of match fixing

Lucas Paqueta has until 3 June to respond to the charges, subject to any request for an extension. The Brazilian international, who has been selected for Brazil's Copa America squad, insists on his innocence, stating, "I deny all the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name." West Ham United has expressed its support for Paqueta, emphasizing its commitment to stand by the player throughout the ongoing process.

Should the FA find Paqueta guilty, he risks facing a lengthy ban from football, which could have significant implications for his career and potential transfers, including interest from Manchester City.

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