West Ham United player Lucas Paqueta accused of deliberately receiving yellow card in Premier League game National Sports

LONDON (AP) — West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta was charged Thursday by English football authorities after the Brazil international allegedly deliberately closed cards during Premier League games to influence betting markets.

“I completely deny these accusations,” Paqueta immediately responded on his Instagram account, “and will do everything in my power to clear my name.”

The case involves four games from November 2022 to August 2023.

The federation said Paqueta had been charged with misconduct for breaching two of its rules.

The FA said it was “alleged that he knowingly received a card from the referee in order to influence betting to directly affect the progression, conduct or any other aspect or occurrence of those matches in order to facilitate one or more persons in the market.” Profit from gambling.

The FA said Paqueta, 26, was also charged with “alleged non-compliance with regulations”.

He has until June 3 to formally respond to the allegations, but said on Instagram that he was “extremely surprised and upset by the FA's decision to lay charges against me”.

“For nine months, I cooperated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I could,” he wrote.

Paqueta was named in the Brazil squad for the Copa America starting next month two weeks ago and continues to play for West Ham United while the FA investigates alleged betting irregularities. The investigation reportedly thwarted Paqueta's potential move to English champions Manchester City.

The relevant Premier League games are Leicester City on 12 November 2022; Aston Villa on 12 March 2023; Leeds on 21 May 2023; Bournemouth on 12 August 2023 .

AP Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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