THE FA’s gambling probe into Lucas Paqueta includes suspicious bets from THIS SEASON, according to reports.
GettyThe FA are now also investigating the yellow card Paqueta received against Bournemouth, according to reports[/caption]
Paqueta received a yellow card in the 94th minute for shoving Illia Zabarnyi and then showing dissent towards referee Peter Bankes.
The FA were already investigating two other yellow cards that Paqueta had received in the previous season that were linked to a suspicious number of bets from accounts in Brazil betting on the midfielder to receive a booking.
The second alleged offence was for a yellow card Paqueta received for fouling Leeds’ Crysencio Summerville on May 21.
The FA investigation into Paqueta’s is believed to have caused the 11th hour breakdown in the Brazilian’s proposed £85million move to Manchester City.
While the gambling probe by the FA into Paqueta had previously been conducted in secret, the Mail report that the player’s booking against Bournemouth saw the investigation accelerate – and led to it becoming public.
The FA are understood to have been informed of an anti-corruption alert by integrity officials the Monday after West Ham’s game against Bournemouth, and after conducting their own due diligence informed West Ham and Paqueta two days later.
Paqueta’s yellow received little attention at the time but will be intensely scrutinised by fans, integrity officials and lawyers over the coming months.
The player was not aware that he was under investigation during West Ham’s clash with Bournemouth but enquiries had been ongoing for five months.
Like last season’s betting patterns, bets on Paqueta to receive a yellow in the game had been traced to Paqueta Island, near Rio De Janeiro – where the player grew up.
Paqueta is understood to deny all knowledge of the suspicious betting and is confident he has no case to answer.
The Mail also report that the FA were scheduled to hold a formal interview with Paqueta over the allegations on Monday but have postponed to allow themselves more time to prepare.