Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka Cleared in Match-Fixing Case

  • Authorities investigated a yellow card Xhaka received during a game in December 2021
  • Suspicious betting patterns triggered concerns about match-fixing and Albania links
  • The lack of evidence means that the NCA has now dropped the matter
Granit Xhaka
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka (pictured) has been cleared of involvement in a match-fixing case. [Image:]

Investigators have cleared Arsenal player Granit Xhaka of any involvement in a potential match-fixing case. The National Crime Agency (NCA), UK Gambling Commission, and the English Football Association (FA) investigated a yellow card the midfielder received during a game against Leeds United in December 2021.

Xhaka delayed taking a free kick for an extensive amount of time

The now-30-year-old soccer player received a yellow card for time wasting in the 86th minute of the English Premier League game. Xhaka delayed taking a free kick for an extensive amount of time although his team was three goals up and had little reason to time waste.

Suspicious betting patterns around the yellow card triggered concerns about potential match-fixing. Someone placed a bet worth £52,000 ($64,718) on the Swiss international receiving a yellow card in the last ten minutes of the fixture.

Some reports in the press suggested that an Albanian organized crime group was involved in the matter as a significant portion of the suspicious betting took place in Albania. The wagers were placed using cryptocurrency and through unregulated sportsbooks.

The FA first looked into the matter before passing the case to the NCA. The lack of evidence meant that the NCA has now closed its investigation.

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