London (AFP) – Sutton United’s reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw is not only in hot water with his club but also it emerged on Tuesday with the Football Association for eating a pie in the final minutes of the FA Cup clash with Arsenal.
The portly 46-year-old — a former Southampton youth team-mate of England icon Alan Shearer — told the ‘Daily Mail’ that while he had not had a bet at odds of 8/1 of him being caught on camera eating a pie several of his friends had.
The FA has announced it is investigating whether its betting rules have been breached by Shaw — known as ‘the roly poly goalie’ — who admitted he had known about the odds prior to the match.
“We are investigating to establish whether there has been any breach of The FA rules relating to betting,” an FA spokesperson said.
The Gambling Commission has also opened an enquiry as to whether the bookmaker has “met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity”.
Shaw, who was released by non league Sutton for an earlier incident in 2013 when he climbed into the stands having taken exception to remarks made about his physique by fans, laughed off his eating the pie seven minutes from the end of the 2-0 defeat as a ‘bit of banter’.
“I think there were a few people. Obviously we (the players) are not allowed to bet. I think a few mates and a few of the fans,” Shaw told the newspaper.
“I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let’s do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down. It was just a bit of banter for them. It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back.”
However, The Gambling Commission, which licenses and regulates gambling in Britain, says it is looking into whether there was any “irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity”.
“Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened,” said enforcement and intelligence director Richard Watson.
The bookmaker in question — who sponsored the Sutton shirts for the match — tweeted it had paid out a “five-figure sum” to one punter who had bet on Shaw to eat the pie.
Sutton manager Paul Doswell had not seen the funny side of the incident declaring: “I don’t think it shows us in the best light.”
Club chairman Bruce Elliott told BBC Radio that Shaw could not resist garnering publicity.
“He has got himself in the papers again and the fame obviously has gone to his head a little bit, but we will soon bring him back down to earth, don’t worry about that.”