The FA has confirmed that it will be examining claims of ‘irregular betting patterns’ over a yellow card received by an unnamed Arsenal FC player.
As reported by The Athletic, bookmakers had previously raised questions with the FA after an ‘unusual amount’ of money was placed on an Arsenal player being booked during a match earlier this season.
Whilst a formal investigation has not yet been opened, an FA spokesperson stated: “The FA is aware of the matter in question and is looking into it.”
It has been alleged by some on social media that up to £65,000 was wagered on the currently unnamed player whilst the match was in-play via just one betting exchange, prompting operator’s to report the suspicious activity to FA.
This is the first instance in a considerable amount of time that betting on a professional footballer in the English Premier League has been investigated by the authorities.
In 2009, former Southampton and England Midfielder, Matt Le Tissier, claimed in an autobiography that he conspired with friends and a teammate to cash in on a spread-bet on the timing of the first throw-in during a Premier League match. At the time, police reported that he would not face criminal charges over a £10,000 betting scam he admitted from the 1990s.
However, there have been incidents in the UK’s lower leagues. Two notable cases last year saw Rasmus Nicolaisen, a defender for EFL League Two side Portsmouth, fined £2,500 by an FA regulatory commission for placing 53 bets on football matches in November 2020.
The following month, Scottish League Two striker Kane Hester, a player for Elgin City, was accused of being involved in a scheme to defraud bet365 of over £13,000 in illegal winnings.
Meanwhile, In April 2018, it was revealed that English footballer Bradley Wood was to serve a six-year suspension from football and all football activity from 9 March 2018 to 8 March 2024 after committing 25 breaches of The FA’s Integrity and Betting Rules.
Wood contested the two charges of conduct contrary to match fixing offences, but admitted the 22 charges of conduct contrary to FA Rule E8(1)(a)(i) and the single charge of conduct contrary to FA Rule E8(b) of betting offences.