Lucas Paqueta facing career-ending TEN-YEAR ban after West Ham star charged with breaching Premier League betting rules

LUCAS PAQUETA is facing a career-ending TEN-YEAR ban after being charged with four counts of spot-fixing in Premier League games.

But West Ham’s Brazil international has vowed to “fight with every breath” to clear his name.

ReutersLucas Paqueta could face a 10-year ban following his FA charges[/caption]

The FA accused Paqueta, 26, of intentionally getting booked “for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market in order for one or more persons to profit”.

It wrecks his hopes of a dream £85million move to champions Manchester City.

The FA allege Paqueta deliberately got a yellow card against Leicester in November 2022, Aston Villa in March 2023, Leeds in May 2023 and Bournemouth on the opening day of this season.

But Paqueta denies the allegations while West Ham have promised to stand by and support their player.

In an emotional statement, Paqueta said: “I’m extremely surprised and upset the FA has decided to charge me.

“For nine months, I have co-operated 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.

“Due to the ongoing process, I will not be providing further comment.”

What games has Paqueta been charged for?

Lucas Paqueta’s four charges relate to the following games:

West Ham vs Leicester – November 12 2022
West Ham vs Aston Villa – March 12 2023
West Ham vs Leeds May 21 2023
West Ham vs Bournemouth August – 12 2023

GettyPaqueta was booked for a foul against Leicester’s Boubakary Soumare in November 2022[/caption]

His second alleged breach came against Aston Villa in March 2023Rex

In 2022, Stratford Town defender Kynan Isaac was banned for a decade for his role in a spot- fixing scheme with friends.

An independent commission gave him the longest ban since the 1964 match-fixing scandal, which led to several players being jailed and given life bans.

Paqueta is not accused of betting himself, which players are barred from.

The bets in question were placed by accounts registered in Paqueta Island — just off Rio de Janeiro — where the West Ham star was born.

Hammers sources say the FA should have involved the police if the allegations are so serious — given spot-fixing is a criminal offence — and believe the evidence is only circumstantial.

West Ham responded: “The club acknowledges receipt of the FA charge received by Lucas for alleged breaches of their rules.

“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.”

Paqueta was booked against Leicester for a lunge on Boubakary Soumare and again for a late tackle on Villa’s John McGinn.

He picked up a third yellow against Leeds for pulling back Crysencio Summerville and a fourth versus Bournemouth for handling the ball in added time, the offence which triggered the probe.

The FA were alerted after being tipped off by integrity officers who had seen an unusual amount of betting activity on those bookings, much of it traced to Paqueta Island.

The third charge came against Leeds in May 2023Rex

The fourth charge came against Bournemouth in August 2023Rex

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