Lucas Paquetá é acusado de manipulação de resultados.
Imagem: West Ham / Divulgação

The Brazilian National Team and West Ham player, Lucas Paquetá, has an “trick up his sleeve” to defend himself against accusations from the FA (Football Association).

The player is being accused of deliberately taking yellow cards in the Premier League to benefit sports betting players.

But, according to the player’s defense, Paquetá had asked the then coach, David Moyes, to be rested in the match against Bournemouth, one of the matches under suspicion.

Paquetá at the time was in negotiations with Manchester City

At that time, Paquetá was in negotiations with Manchester City and did not want to risk injury. In other words, the defense argues that it makes no sense for the player to have forced a yellow card in a game he didn’t even want to play.

Then, the English newspaper The Sun reports that the Brazilian player’s strategy is to sow doubts about the English Federation’s accusations. Arguing that he didn’t want to play, he reportedly showed no interest in the match. In any case, the club backed away from the signing as soon as it learned of the investigation.

Furthermore, several sources at West Ham would be willing to corroborate Paquetá’s version. On that occasion, the Brazilian received a yellow card in the 48th minute of the second half, which triggered the FA’s complaints.

Paquetá is accused of forcing a yellow card in games:

  • against Leicester, in 2022
  • against Aston Villa, in 2023
  • against Leeds United, in 2023
  • against Bournemouth, in 2023

Official statement from the FA

It is estimated that around 60 people bet that the Brazilian would be warned by the referee in one or more of these games. All bets would have been made from Paquetá Island, in Rio de Janeiro, where the player was born.

That’s why they consider Lucas Paquetá‘s case serious. The FA released the following statement: “The player sought to directly influence the progress, conduct or any other aspect or occurrence of matches by intentionally seeking to receive a card from the referee with the improper purpose of affecting the betting market so that one or more persons profit from betting.”

Since the investigation came to light, the Brazilian has always declared himself innocent and denied having committed any wrongdoing. According to The Sun newspaper, the deadline for him to defend himself against the FA’s accusations ends next Friday (14).

But both Paquetá and the FA must present their arguments to an Independent Committee, responsible for the final verdict. If the FA or the player’s defense still do not agree with the decision made, they can still appeal the decision to the Appeals Committee in England.

In other words, it could take more than a year to announce a definitive decision. Until then, Paquetá continues in action and played for the Brazilian team in a friendly match last Saturday (8). However, the penalty could be very heavy or he risks being banned from football.