West Ham star Lucas Paqueta 'extremely surprised' after being charged by FA over betting breaches

Lucas Paqueta

The Brazil international has been handed a string of FA charges

James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 23/05/2024

- 16:49

Updated: 23/05/2024

- 17:41

The charges relate to four matches against Leicester, Aston Villa, Leeds and Bournemouth

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been handed a string of FA charges for allegedly "intentionally seeking to receive" bookings "in order for one or more persons to profit from betting".

An FA statement said: "It's alleged that he [Paqueta] 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."

The charges relate to a Premier League game against Leicester City in November 2022, as well as 2023 fixtures against Aston Villa on March 12, Leeds United on May 21, and Bournemouth on August 12.

Paqueta had been handed yellow cards in all four matches.

Lucas Paqueta

Paqueta said he was "extremely surprised and upset" by the charges


The Brazilian international midfielder, 26, has until June 3 to "provide a response to these charges subject to any request for an extension to this deadline".

In response, Paqueta said he was "extremely surprised and upset" by the charges - and denies them.

His full statement read: "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.


Sandro Tonali

The news comes mere weeks after Newcastle's Sandro Tonali was slapped with a further set of FA charges


"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."

A West Ham spokesperson said: "The club acknowledges receipt of the FA charge received by Lucas Paqueta for alleged breaches of their rules.

"Lucas categorically denies the breach and will continue to robustly defend his position.

"The club will continue to stand by and support the player throughout the process and will make no further comment until the matter is concluded."

The news comes mere weeks after the FA charged Newcastle's Sandro Tonali for allegedly breaching betting rules during his time at the club, with the midfielder still suspended for breaking Italian gambling restrictions.

Tonali had been banned in October 2023 for breaking betting regulations, with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirming his punishment of a 10-month ban - though this was a reduced punishment; without his cooperation in the investigation, Tonali could have faced up to a three-year suspension under Fifa rules.

The ban has ruled Tonali out from playing competitive football until August 2024, although he is permitted to train with Newcastle and play friendly matches.

The 24-year-old will also be unable to play for Italy at this summer's European Championship.

But new charges were made relating to the period between August 12 and October 12 last year, after he joined Newcastle from AC Milan.

The FA said: "It's alleged that the Newcastle United midfielder breached FA Rule E8 50 times by placing bets on football matches between 12 August 2023 and 12 October 2023."

Newcastle released their own statement and said they were still fully supportive of Tonali, which read: "Newcastle United acknowledges a misconduct charge received by Sandro Tonali in respect of alleged breaches of FA Betting Rules.

"Sandro continues to fully comply with relevant investigations and he retains the club's full support.

"Due to this ongoing process, Sandro and Newcastle United are unable to offer further comment at this time."

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