The improper betting allegations examined

Lucas Paqueta-Manchester City-West Ham-Transfer

Paqueta: The improper betting allegations examined

Newcastle United summer signing Sandro Tonali has become the latest footballer to have become involved in betting-related charges, but the Italian is not alone.

Having signed the midfielder for £55m , Tonali’s expertise at Champions League level gave  his entourage hope as they embarked on a European  journey for the first time in two decades.

Now, however, the former AC Milan maestro will be unavailable for selection for 10 months as he misses the remainder of his club’s 2023/24 campaign.

The improper betting allegations examined

Previously, Tonali had admitted to betting on Milan winning games and his co-operation in the investigation has paid dividends as his ban has seen a dramatic reduction from three years to just 10 months. Tonali will be able to continue training with his Tyneside teammates and will be able to play in friendlies, but will not be representing the club in domestic and European outings until August 2024.

Towards the end of last season, Brentford’s  Toney was handed an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules. He pleaded guilty to 232 breaches, with the offences and will now be unable to play until  January 16 next year, although he has now returned to training after serving half of his ban.

Toney’s case is one of the most severe in Premier League history, with the England international admitting to the FA during the process that he was dealing with a serious gambling addiction.

In the summer of 2019, Kieran Trippier was on his way out of Spurs, with several clubs looking to sign the England right back and he ended up at Atletico Madrid. Trippier was investigated by the FA of having revealed to his friends in a WhatsApp group that he was moving to Madrid, with one friend using the information to win serious cash. The England international, who now captains Newcastle, was found guilty. Subsequently, he was given a ten-week ban from football, and was fined £70,000, despite actually not even being aware that his friend had made the bet.

Paqueta: Improper betting allegations examined

In Lucas Paqueta’s case, there are no allegations that he gambled himself or concluded with others to bet on his performance or that there was a yellow cards gambling involvement and says he is innocent.

The closest comparison is former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka who was cleared of any involvement in a betting scandal after he controversially received a yellow card against Leeds United, that investigation lasted 18 months.

Like Paqueta there was unusual betting on the Swiss midfielder getting the caution and he seemed to have deliberately earned it, which made the bookies report it to the FA and he was under investigation.

Since the investigation Xhaka signed for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen on a five-year contract for a fee of €25 million over the summer.

FA are looking at three separate incidents across a six-month period in their gambling probe against Paqueta going from last season into this one.

The first Paqueta yellow card being investigated was for his fourth booking of the 2022-23 campaign, at home to Aston Villa, when he was cautioned for a late challenge that incensed John McGinn midway through the second half.

David Moyes’ Hammers very much had one eye on their upcoming UEFA Conference League final when they hosted relegation scrappers Leeds on the penultimate weekend of the 2022-23 season.

The Brazilian’s 65th-minute booking, tripping Crysensio Summerville to deny a counter-attack, was an incident that passed by with next to no comment at the time. It has been noted that minutes before the corner that led to this passage of play, Paqueta had been warned by referee Peter Bankes for kicking the ball away.

Paqueta received another yellow at Bournemouth this season or shoving Illia Zabarnyi and showing dissent to referee Peter Bankes on August 12 that accelerated a previously secret five-month investigation, causing the collapse of the City transfer.

The 25-year-old was very closely linked with a move to Manchester City when he featured for the Hammers in their 2023-24 opener away at Bournemouth.

The referee dished out a yellow card after a coming together with Bournemouth defender Zabarnyi. He was one of several players booked in the early weeks of the new campaign following lesser leniency around dissent for the new season.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

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