Accusations against West Ham star Lucas Paqueta could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as the FA accelerate action over betting markets.

Out the blue last week it emerged West Ham star Lucas Paqueta is being investigated by the FA and FIFA over potential betting breaches.

The accusations levelled against Paqueta – which he vehemently denies – could result in a ‘multi-year ban’ or even a ‘jail sentence’ if the Hammers ace is found charged and found guilty.

The key word in this scenario is of course ‘IF’.

Allegations against Paqueta – which centre around three West Ham bookings this year – saw a big money move to Man City collapse.

AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United - Premier League
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Accusations against West Ham star Lucas Paqueta could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as FA accelerate action over betting markets

Paqueta scored and starred for West Ham in the 3-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday to lift the dark cloud hanging over his head.

The Brazilian was due to appear before an FA hearing on Monday. But a masterclass from West Ham co-owner David Sullivan saw that put back three weeks – beyond the close of the summer transfer window.

Judging by past investigations into the kind of allegations being levelled at Paqueta, West Ham and the player should strap themselves in for a lengthy ride.

But it could mark the beginning of the end for such scenarios rearing their ugly heads in the future.

We all know West Ham are massive. But this is so high-profile it seems it could spark major change across the entire football and betting industry.

Because accusations against West Ham star Paqueta could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as the FA accelerate action over betting markets.

West Ham United Training Session
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FA official launch talks with bookmakers and government amid high-profile Paqueta accusations

According to an exclusive from The Daily Mail last night, the Paqueta situation has prompted the Football Association to push for gambling companies to scrap markets on yellow cards and other areas open to potential spot-fixing.

“The FA want gambling companies to withdraw betting markets on yellow cards and other in-game incidents amidst growing concerns about spot-fixing during matches,” the report states.

Mail Sport has learned that FA officials have had talks with bookmakers and government about placing restrictions on some of the bets offered in certain competitions in a move that is likely to gain support from the Premier League.

“The FA’s investigation into suspicious betting patterns surrounding bookings received by West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta in three Premier League games this year is their fourth high-profile probe into gambling on yellow cards in the last five years, and Mail Sport has been told there have been others that have not been made public.”

West Ham United v Chelsea FC - Premier League
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Situation surrounding Hammers and star man could force long-term change for the better

The report goes on to state that the situation surrounding the accusations facing West Ham star Paqueta has prompted The FA to raise concerns that yellow card markets in particular are open to manipulation, and are understood to have received a positive response during initial talks with officials at the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Placing restrictions on markets such as the number of cards, corners and penalties given by referees during specific games has also been discussed.

The extremely unhealthy relationship between gambling firms and professional football has been an elephant in the room for far too long.

If the situation with Paqueta and West Ham leads in some small way to significant change in that regard them that can be no bad thing.


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