The FA's probe into a yellow card shown to an Arsenal player centres on a £55k in-play gamble

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FA probe into a yellow card shown to an Arsenal player centres on a £55k in-play gamble on one player being booked… alarming bookmakers of suspicious betting behaviour

  • Bookmakers had contacted the FA about a strange amount of money being bet 
  • The probe centres on a £55,000 in-play gamble on one player being booked
  • The Arsenal player was cautioned, leading bookmakers to report the bets
  • The FA’s intelligence and integrity analysts are leading inquiries with Betradar 
  • However, the governing body have yet to launch a formal investigation
  • They are likely to speak to Arsenal and their players before doing so 


The FA’s betting probe into an Arsenal Premier League match earlier this season centres on an extraordinary £55,000 in-play gamble on one player being booked towards the end of the game.

The Arsenal star, whose identity is known to Sportsmail but who cannot be named for legal reasons, was eventually cautioned, leading bookmakers to report the bets to the FA due to the large amount of money involved. The sum was far in excess of what is usually wagered on yellow cards.

The FA’s intelligence and integrity analysts are leading inquiries with Betradar, a sports data company which specialises in identifying unusual bets and the potential for spot-fixing and match-fixing.

The FA’s betting probe into an Arsenal Premier League match earlier this season centres on an £55,000 in-play gamble on one player being booked towards the end of the game

The FA’s betting probe into an Arsenal Premier League match earlier this season centres on an £55,000 in-play gamble on one player being booked towards the end of the game

The governing body have yet to launch a formal investigation and are likely to speak to Arsenal and their players before doing so.

An industry expert who has studied trading patterns for the match told Sportsmail that although the betting was highly unusual, it was unlikely to involve any corruption, as most of the betting involved punters opposing each other on gambling exchanges.

‘The trading in the 10 minutes prior to that yellow is nothing like I have ever seen before,’ he said. ‘It looks unusual but the most plausible thing is that it is the perfect storm of punters opposing each other rather than fixing. I have got to emphasise it is people losing money as well as winning.

The Arsenal star was eventually cautioned, leading bookmakers to report the bets to the FA due to the large amount of money involved

The Arsenal star was eventually cautioned, leading bookmakers to report the bets to the FA due to the large amount of money involved

‘I don’t think Premier League footballers on £175,000 a week are fixing, even to the slightly larger amounts you can win on exchanges.’

FA sources have also privately cast doubt on whether the player would have known about the betting patterns and could be implicated.

Proven cases of spot-fixing are rare in this country, although Lincoln City defender Bradley Woods was banned for six years in 2018 after being found guilty of deliberately getting booked twice during their run to the FA Cup quarter-finals the previous season.

Texts revealed Wood hatched a plan with seven friends to collect yellow cards in two ties.

Plotters stood to win a total of £10,000 for two different bets, so the money staked would have been a few thousand pounds, far less than in the Arsenal match. Yet it still triggered a red flag among bookmakers.

Sixteen different players have picked up bookings for Arsenal this season.

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