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Lucas Paqueta charged by FA for breaching of betting rules

West Ham midfielder has until June 3 to prove his innocence

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been charged by the Football Association (FA) for four alleged breaches of betting rules. The 26-year-old Brazilian international was interviewed by the FA last September, and he provided access to his phone for the investigation in October.

Paqueta has until June 3 to respond to the charges. However, he has already publicly denied any wrongdoing on his Instagram page, stating, “I am extremely surprised and upset that the FA has decided to charge me. For nine months, I have co-operated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I can. I deny all the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name. Due to the ongoing process, I will not be providing any further comment.”

The investigation began after suspicious betting patterns were noted surrounding a stoppage-time yellow card Paqueta received during West Ham’s 1-1 draw against Bournemouth on the opening day of the season last August.

The FA’s statement, released on Thursday, detailed the charges: “West Ham United’s Lucas Paqueta has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of FA Rules E5 and F3. The player has been charged with four breaches of FA Rule E5.1 in relation to his conduct in the club’s Premier League fixtures against Leicester City on November 12, 2022; Aston Villa on March 12, 2023; Leeds United on May 21, 2023; and AFC Bournemouth on August 12, 2023. It’s alleged that he directly sought to influence the progress, conduct, or any other aspect of, or occurrence in these matches by intentionally seeking to receive a card from the referee for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market in order for one or more persons to profit from betting.

“Lucas Paqueta has also been charged with two breaches of FA Rule F3 in respect of alleged failures to comply pursuant to FA Rule F2. The player has until June 3, 2024, to provide a response to these charges, subject to any request for an extension to this deadline.”

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