English FA Wants Yellow Card Betting Markets Axed as Suspicious Cases Mount

  • The FA action follows a new investigation into EPL star Paquetá
  • A Mail source cited other as-yet-undisclosed cases like Paquetá’s
  • The body sidestepped the UKGC, going directly to betting operators
  • Globally, 79 “suspicious” soccer games were flagged up in H1 2023
Yellow card being held
A leak has revealed the English FA is in talks with sports betting operators with the aim of axing betting markets on yellow cards. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Taking action

A UK tabloid leak has revealed the English Football Association (FA) has been having talks involving both sports betting operators and the government with the aim of axing betting markets on yellow cards and “other in-game incidents.”

there are other cases like Paquetá’s

The Daily Mail’s recent expose follows the launch of an FA probe into suspicious betting patterns around the yellow cards shown to West Ham’s Lucas Paquetá. The Mail also cited its source as stating there are other cases like Paquetá’s that haven’t yet “been made public.”

Sense of urgency

Until now, it appeared the biggest fallout from the FA’s investigation into shady betting patterns around the Brazilian Paquetá’s bookings in the English Premier League (EPL) was the derailment of the midfielder’s transfer to league champions Manchester City. Now though, it seems the FA is taking action to get the markets cancelled.

Hammers star Paquetá gave the FA its fourth high-profile yellow card probe in five years. The previous case came in 2022 when Arsenal man Granit Xhaka faced a probe for a suspicious yellow in a game with Leeds United. He was cleared of any wrongdoing in May this year.

Instead of going through the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to issue a formal ban on niche bets, the FA has gone directly to the sports betting operators. Some UK sports betting firms including Unibet and 32Red have already axed yellow card markets due to internal concerns over integrity.

A global problem

The FA’s move comes amid widespread match-fixing in global soccer from Cyprus to Brazil. The latter’s scandal engulfed members of congress and even federal police. Several Brazilian players received lengthy bans and substantial fines for their roles in the scandal.

Earlier this month, London-based sports betting and data firm Starlizard Integrity Services announced that it had flagged 79 soccer games worldwide during only the first half of 2023 for “suspicious” betting patterns.

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