The Football Association’s (FA) betting breach investigation into West Ham United’s Lucas Paqueta is focusing on the Brazilian players’ involvement in bookings he received in several games.
The Daily Mail has revealed the five month FA investigation has intensified after Paqueta received a yellow card in the closing minute of West Ham’s 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth in the Hammers’ first game of the season.
It has since been revealed that the FA are now looking into bookings handed to Paqueta last season in games against Aston Villa and Leeds United to judge whether the Brazilian midfielder is in breach of betting integrity rules.
The yellow card Paqueta received in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last season was for a late challenge on Villa’s John McGinn on 11 March 2023. The second booking in question of anti-corruption rules is the booking Paqueta received after fouling Crysencio Summerville in West Ham’s 3-1 win over Leeds on 21 May.
The Brazilian international was on the verge of an £85m move to Manchester City before the European champions pulled out at the last minute due to ‘confidential’ reasons.
The FA’s probe into Paqueta’s alleged betting involvement became evident to the player and West Ham the Monday morning after West Ham’s opening day game against Bournemouth (14 August).
Whilst the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been placed, Hammers manager David Moyes continued to start Paqueta in a 3-1 victory last Sunday where he scored the decisive penalty.
The booking bets Paqueta is allegedly involved in trace back to his hometown of Guanabara Bay, Brazil, where the FA were alerted to suspicious betting behaviour.
The Daily Mail has since revealed that the bets traced back to Guanabara Bay are linked to known associates of Paqueta and anti-corruption officials have even looked back to previous matches.
Paqueta has denied all wrongdoing but has yet to make an official response to the investigation.