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West Ham’s Lucas Paquetá charged by English FA for allegedly breaching betting rules

West Ham's Lucas Paquetá charged by English FA for allegedly breaching betting rules

Lucas Paquetá is charged with allegedly breaching betting rules related to four matches over his first two seasons with West Ham. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/MB Media/Getty Images)

The English Football Association (FA) has charged West Ham midfielder Lucas Paquetá with allegedly breaching betting rules.

Paquetá, 26, is charged with four breaches for "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."

According to the FA, the breaches are related to four matches over his first two seasons with West Ham: Nov. 12, 2022 vs. Leicester City; March 12, 2023 vs. Aston Villa; May 21, 2023 vs. Leeds United; and Aug. 12, 2023 vs. Bournemouth.

Paquetá posted a statement on Instagram Thursday morning in response to the charges.

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A post shared by Lucas Paquetá (@lucaspaqueta)

"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. I will not be providing any further comment."

Paquetá has until June 3 to formally respond to the FA.

"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," West Ham said in a statement.

After ESPN reported in Aug. 2023, that the FA was investigating Paquetá for potentially breaching betting rules, he continued to play for West Ham during the 2023-24 Premier League season and represented Brazil during two friendly matches in March. Earlier this month, he was named to Brazil's roster for next month's Copa América.

Paquetá joined West Ham in Aug. 2022 from French side Olympique Lyonnais. In two seasons he's made 77 appearances for the Hammers and scored 13 times. His pass to Jared Bowen in the waning moments of the 2023 UEFA Europa Conference League final led to the winning goal over Fiorentina.

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