The FA seeks lifetime ban for West Ham’s Paqueta over alleged Premier League spot-fixing

June 5 – The English FA wants a lifetime ban for Brazil and West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta if he is found guilty of alleged betting breaches.

Paqueta is accused of deliberately getting booked in games against Leicester, Aston Villa, Leeds and Bournemouth to help friends make money. The FA report states that “around sixty people placed bets on Paqueta to be booked in one or all of those matches”.

Last week, the Brazilian Confederation of Football (CBF) cleared Paqueta to play in the upcoming Copa America after seeking clarification in writing from the FA. The player is not provisionally suspended from playing for club and country.

Last month, the Brazilian was charged with misconduct by the FA, alleging that he “directly sought to influence” four Premier League 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.”

Paqueta denied the charges and said in a statement: “I am extremely surprised and upset that the FA has decided to charge me. For nine months, I have 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 be providing any further comment.”

Paqueta’s case is the latest in a long list of scandals, highlighting the issue of spot- and match-fixing as well as the game’s problematic relationship with the betting industry.

Paqueta plays for a club sponsored by Betway, who reported the unusual pattern of bets on the player to be booked. That prompted the FA to investigate.

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