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West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta Charged with Betting Breaches

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West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta, who is a Brazil national, has been accused of violating betting rules by The Football Association (FA). The reason for this is that he is believed to have intentionally gotten yellow cards in some matches to manipulate their results.

FA Investigates Paqueta for Alleged Yellow Card Betting Manipulation

The FA’s inquiry is focused on four Premier League fixtures between November 2022 and August 2023. In each of the matches against Leicester City, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Bournemouth, the player got a yellow card. The intention behind these cards, according to the association, was manipulating betting markets to the advantage of other individuals’ profits, reported The Independent.

These claims have been strongly refuted by Paqueta himself who seemed surprised by them. In an Instagram post, he said: 

“I am extremely surprised and upset that the FA has decided to charge me. For nine months, I have cooperated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I can. I deny the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name.”

West Ham United backed its player. The club said that they will continue to support Paqueta throughout any legal proceedings. West Ham made it clear that they will not be making any further comments until after this matter has been resolved.

Paqueta Faces Potential Career-Threatening Consequences

The allegations could have very serious implications for Paqueta’s future career prospects. Should he be convicted, he may be given a harsh punishment such as suspension for up to six months or even banned from playing soccer for life. 

Additionally, such a decision might also affect his chances of being transferred elsewhere. Last year Manchester City and West Ham were in talks regarding a transfer of Paqueta but those have been put on hold due to the start of the investigation.

The midfielder’s charges come just after West Ham appointed Julen Lopetegui as their new manager to replace David Moyes. These charges will affect the new manager’s plans for next season since the Brazilian is an important member of the team.

Despite being investigated, Paqueta continues playing. He was even called up to the Brazil team that will participate in Copa America. He has maintained good performance levels on the pitch scoring vital goals for West Ham in Premier League matches as well as Europa League games.

Any football enthusiast would notice the similarity between this case and the previous breaches of betting regulations. Ivan Toney of Brentford and Sandro Tonali of Newcastle have both been involved in such situations. They were sanctioned, indicting the stringent position taken by the FA on matters related to gambling.

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