Granite Xhaka is investigated by the British Government on suspicion of selling games
The English Football Association (FA) has had 6 months to investigate and refer the case to the UK National Crime Agency. The latest developments in the investigation show that Xhaka’s case shows signs of a particularly serious crime related to sports betting.
The FA have launched an investigation after receiving reports of suspicious betting activity related to Granit Xhaka’s yellow card at the end of Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road on December 18.
Up to £52,000 was wagered on Xhaka to receive a card in the last 10 minutes, despite Arsenal winning 4-1 at the time. At that time, Xhaka was shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner in the 86th minute for delaying a free kick longer than necessary.
In that situation Xhaka was standing next to the ball in his own half for about 20 seconds and did not intend to put the ball into play until he received a yellow card. That ball brought a £52,000 bet back to £250,000.
The leading bookmakers reported the incident to the FA because the amount involved was too large. According to the data of these bookmakers, the amount placed on the yellow card bet is much larger than the normal penalty card bets. In addition, the rate of Xhaka receiving a yellow card in the last 10 minutes is also higher than at the beginning of the game, so doubts arise from here.
The FA has transferred the case file to the UK’s National Crime Agency. Confirmed cases of betting in the UK are rare. However, Lincoln City defender Bradley Wood received a six-year ban in 2018 for intentionally receiving two yellow cards in the FA Cup quarter-final the previous season. The text messages show that Wood arranged a plan with seven friends. These people used 10,000 pounds on 2 bets and the winnings amounted to several hundred thousand pounds.