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FA to investigate suspicious betting patterns in Arsenal FA Cup match

The Football Association (FA) is set to investigate allegations of suspicious betting patterns during the recent FA Cup match between Oxford United and Arsenal.

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Arsenal won the tie 3-0 on Monday evening, with the FA now understood to be looking at evidence which has been passed to them since the match ended. It reportedly focuses on the yellow card handed to Oxford player Ciaron Brown in the 59th minute.

It is believed that the FA has a dossier of evidence regarding the alleged match-fixing, which includes phone messages before kick-off which claim that the defender would be shown a yellow card, which has allegedly cost one bookmaker over £1,600 ($1,945). One message is believed to show a betting slip with around £200 staked on the Oxford player being cautioned at odds of 8/1.

Brown received the yellow card for a foul on Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka just before the hour mark, with Mohamed Elneny giving the visitors the lead four minutes later. Eddie Nketiah then scored a double to ensure Arsenal’s place in the next round of the competition.

It is certainly not the only betting issue that the FA has had to deal with in recent times, with Brentford and England striker Ivan Toney charged with 232 alleged breaches of betting rules in November 2022, before being charged with 30 more alleged breaches the following month.

The FA states that betting on football is banned for all players, managers, coaches, club staff, directors and licensed agents involved in the English football leagues.

Such persons are prohibited from betting – either directly or indirectly – on any football match or competition that takes place anywhere in the world.

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