The Football Association is investigating a yellow card received by an Arsenal player during a Premier League game this season, amid concerns over suspicious betting patterns.
According to reports originally published in the Athletic, bookmakers alerted the FA to unusual betting patterns after the match and the governing body is looking into the claims, although a formal investigation has not been undertaken at this stage.
An FA spokesperson said: “The FA is aware of the matter in question and is looking into it.” Arsenal declined to comment.
The Athletic claim to know the identity of the player but have chosen not to reveal his name at this stage due to privacy.
The amount of money placed on the bet is said to be ‘highly unusual’.
Betting on individual outcomes in matches, such as a corner being taken at a certain time or a card being given, is known as ‘spot betting’.
It is problematic for football’s governing bodies as a single individual can affect the outcome of a bet, as opposed to regular bets such as the winner of a match.
Spot-fixing is a major problem in football leagues around the world but is thought to be relatively rare in the Premier League, where players earn higher salaries.
There are previous instances of it occurring in English football with some players admitting to the crime.
Following his retirement, former England international Matt Le Tissier admitted that he had colluded with friends to bet on the timing of the first throw-in in a match he played for Southampton against Wimbledon in 1995.
In his autobiography, Le Tissier said he had tried to “make a few quid” by attempting to kick the ball out of play, as he looked to profit on a bet for the first throw-in to occur in the opening minute of the match.
However, the plan failed after a team-mate stopped the ball from going out of play.