Lucas Paquetá Facing Lengthy Ban That Could Be Very Costly for West Ham

  • Paquetá allegedly intentionally got yellow cards during games
  • He could be facing a suspension from the sport of up to ten years
  • West Ham could potentially sue the Brazilian if he is found guilty
Gates at the Boleyn Ground
Lucas Paquetá could be facing a ban of as long as ten years if found guilty of intentionally manipulating games by deliberately getting yellow cards. [Image:]

Very serious matter

Just hours after West Ham United unveiled Julen Lopetegui as its new manager, it was rocked with news about significant charges against one of its players. Lucas Paquetá’s time playing top-level soccer could be over if found guilty of match-fixing offenses.

deliberately got yellow cards in at least four English Premier League games

The midfielder allegedly deliberately got yellow cards in at least four English Premier League games in 2022 and 2023. Here’s a look at the incidents under scrutiny:

The Football Association (FA) statement on Thursday outlined its suspicions that the Brazilian player did so with the “improper purpose of affecting the betting market in order for one or more persons to profit from the booking.”

Hefty ban in the cards

Paquetá maintains his innocence in the case and in a post on social media said that he has cooperated with investigators for the past nine months to try to clear his name. West Ham released its own statement saying that the club fully supports him.

Paquetá joined West Ham in August 2022 from Lyon for a club record fee of £51m ($65m) and his performances led to Manchester City eyeing a move worth £85m ($108m) by triggering his buy-out clause. The deal fell through in August when details of the ongoing investigation came to light.

Match-fixers in other sports have gotten prison time in the UK for engaging in match-fixing. Three Pakistan national cricket team players served prison sentences as long as 30 months for taking bribes to deliberately bowl no-balls.

Other players in lower leagues who intentionally got yellow cards during matches in England ended up getting bans as long as ten years, so the 26-year-old star could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. He can submit an official response to the allegations up until June 3 and then a hearing will take place during the summer to decide his fate.

A costly situation

If Paquetá receives a lengthy ban, West Ham could miss out on a big payday. He played just two seasons for the club despite the record-breaking £51m ($65m) transfer fee. Selling him last summer would have made a nice profit for the club that it could have used on other transfer targets.

club is paying him a £130,000 ($165,593) weekly salary

Instead, the club is paying him a £130,000 ($165,593) weekly salary for the foreseeable future as per his five-year contract. If the team terminates his deal for breach of contract, he will become a free agent and West Ham won’t get a transfer fee.

There is a precedent of Premier League clubs seeking compensation due to the misconduct of players who received major bans. After Adrian Mutu tested positive for cocaine back in 2004 and got a seven-month ban from the sport, his club Chelsea FC released him and sued the Romanian striker for £14.3m ($18.2m) to try to get back the money it spent signing him.

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