West Ham fear Lucas Paquetá’s career may be over if guilty of betting breaches

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Lucas Paquetá;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Lucas Paquetá</a> joined <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:West Ham;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">West Ham</a> from Lyon in 2022.</span><span>Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images</span>

West Ham fear Lucas Paquetá’s career could be over if he is found guilty of deliberately getting booked after the midfielder was charged by the Football Association in relation to alleged breaches of betting regulations.

The FA has been looking into allegations that Paquetá deliberately picked up yellow cards against Leicester, Aston Villa, Leeds and Bournemouth in 2022 and 2023. The governing body said in a statement that the Brazil international was suspected of directly seeking 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 the booking”.

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The news of Paquetá being charged came on the day West Ham announced Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach. Paquetá denies wrongdoing and any knowledge of the suspicious bets, which have been traced to Paquetá Island, off the coast of Rio de Janiero.

“I am extremely surprised and upset that the FA has decided to charge me,” Paquetá said on Instagram. “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.”

West Ham said: “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.”

Paquetá has also been charged with two breaches of FA rule F3 in respect of alleged failures to comply pursuant to FA rule F2, which relates to providing information and documents. Paquetá was interviewed by the FA last September and gave them access to his phone the following month.

Paquetá has until 3 June to respond to the charges, subject to requesting an extension. The investigation came to light last summer, scotching a move by Manchester City for West Ham’s record £51m signing.

Paquetá has an £85m release clause and was a target for City again this summer but he is now unlikely to move.