The Football Association (FA) has charged West Ham United player Lucas Paquetá with misconduct in relation to alleged betting breaches of FA Rules E5 and F3. 

It is alleged that the Brazilian attempted to intentionally influence matches by seeking a card from the referee to manipulate the betting market, aiming to ensure that one or more individuals could profit from bets.

The FA has charged Paquetá with four breaches of FA Rule E5.1 in relation to his conduct in the club’s Premier League fixtures against Leicester City on 12 November 2022; Aston Villa on 12 March 2023; Leeds United on 21 May 2023; and AFC Bournemouth on 12 August 2023. 

Additionally, Paquetá faces two charges of violating FA Rule F3, related to the alleged non-compliance with the abovementioned FA Rule F2.

The FA has stated that the player has until 3 June to provide a response to these charges subject to any request for an extension to this deadline.

In response to the charges, Paquetá released a statement: “I’m extremely surprised and upset to see that the FA have decided to charge me. For nine months, I’ve 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. Due to the ongoing process, I will not provide any further comment”.

Earlier this year, the FA sanctioned Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali for breaches of its betting regulations. Tonali was handed a suspended two-month ban from football alongside a fine of £20,000.

However, the Italian had already been given a 10-month ban on 27 October 2023 by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

Betting violations have resulted in several high-profile suspensions in the Premier League over the past year. Notably, Brentford forward Ivan Toney received an eight-month ban in May 2023, followed by Nottingham Forest defender Harry Toffolo‘s five-month suspension four months later.

However, this ban differs from the aforementioned cases. West Ham’s Paquetá faces a charge of spot-fixing, whereas Toney, Tonali and Toffolo were charged with betting on games themselves.

Spot-fixing is a much more serious charge. Stratford Town defender Kynan Isaac was banned for 10-years for his part in spot-fixing during an FA Cup tie in 2022. The defender only faced one charge compared to Paquetá’s four.

With investigations set to continue, the FA has stated that it will be making no further comment until the conclusion of this case.

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