Under fire Lucas Paqueta’s gambling probe extends to three suspicious bookings including Bournemouth opener


Under fire Lucas Paqueta’s gambling probe extends to three suspicious bookings including Bournemouth opener

Mark Kinyanjui 16:30 - 23.08.2023

The FA were conducting a secret five month investigation into Lucas Paqueta before his booking against Bournemouth accelerated their investigation.

The FA's gambling probe on Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paquetá has now extended as far as being booked in three West Ham matches, including their opening game of this season.

According to Mail Sport, a five-month investigation exploded into life after an integrity alert was triggered on bets for Paqueta to be booked against Bournemouth in their opening Premier League  game of the season, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Paqueta was booked in all three games that are being investigated by the FA, which is believed to have caused Manchester City to withdraw its bid for the former Lyon man.

The first yellow card under scrutiny is understood to be a booking he received for a for a late challenge on John McGinn in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on March 11.

The second is the one he received for fouling Leeds' Cresencio Summerville on May 21.

However, it was the booking Paqueta received at Bournemouth for shoving Illia Zabarnyi and showing dissent to referee Peter Bankes on August 12 that accelerated a previously secret five-month investigation, causing the collapse of the City transfer.

Paqueta's booking at Bournemouth attracted little attention at the time, but is likely to be intensely scrutinized by fans, integrity officials and lawyers over the coming days and weeks. 

The 25-year-old had already irritated the referee by committing a foul in the last minute of a game that was petering out into a draw before protesting robustly and earning a yellow card.

Paqueta was not aware he was being investigated at the time of the Bournemouth game despite the fact that inquiries had been ongoing for almost five months. As with last season's suspicious activity, the Bournemouth bets were traced to accounts registered in Paqueta Island, off Rio de Janeiro. 

According to Mail Sport, The initial probe began when several bookmakers in Brazil received an unusual number of bets on the Brazilian international to be booked against Villa last March, triggering an alert from their integrity monitoring systems.