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Lucas Paquetá’s Manchester City move under threat: what betting rules do soccer players have to follow?

West Ham playmaker Paquetá is being investigated for allegedly placing bets on soccer in his native Brazil, which he has denied.

West Ham playmaker Paquetá is being investigated for allegedly placing bets on soccer in his native Brazil, which he has denied.

For several weeks now, it has appeared to be just a matter of time until West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paquetá joined Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Last season’s Premier League and Champions League winners identified the Brazilian as a potential replacement for captain Ilkay Gündogan, who left for Barcelona, and were expected to activate his £85 million ($108.4 million) release clause, particularly after a long-term injury suffered by key man Kevin De Bruyne.

Paquetá investigated by Football Association for gambling breaches

However, the chances of Paquetá making the move to the Etihad now appear to be slim after it was revealed that the Football Association (FA) had opened an investigation into potential betting breaches, which could lead to a lengthy suspension if they are proved. Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who made his debut for England earlier this year, is current serving an eight-month ban after admitting 232 breaches of the FA’s gambling laws.

Sources close to Paquetá have denied that he placed any bets on soccer in Brazil, which the probe is said to be focused on.

What can soccer players bet on?

Due to betting’s “risk to the integrity” of soccer, FIFA’s Code of Ethics states that “all officials, referees, players as well as match agents and intermediaries” are “forbidden from participating in, either directly or indirectly, betting, gambling, lotteries or similar events or transactions related to football matches or competitions and/or any related football activities”.

The rules and punishments may vary very slightly from one country to the next but, in simple, terms, professional soccer players are not allowed to bet on soccer in any way anywhere in the world, regardless if it’s on their own team or in a match between clubs in a country they’ve never even set foot in, or a player potential moving to another team, as happened with Newcastle United and former Atlético Madrid defender Kieran Trippier.

A Premier League player, such as Paquetá, placing any kind of bet on soccer in another country, such as Brazil, would therefore be a breach of the rules. If found guilty, it could cost the Brazilian a move to arguably the best team in the world and valuable time out on the playing field.

Can soccer players bet on other sports?

The prohibition of gambling on soccer covers every possible form of the sport, be it men’s, women’s or youth soccer. However, they are allowed to bet on other sports.