Investigators are taking a long look at possible suspicious betting actions during an FA Cup match between Oxford United and Arsenal. The Gunners won the match away to Oxford 3-0 in convincing fashion. The score itself is not under question. Instead, authorities are looking at a dubious booking late in the match.
Referee David Coote gave Oxford defender Ciaron Brown a yellow card in the 59th minute while the game was still scoreless. The Northern Ireland international fouled Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and then tussled with Fabio Vieira as well. Brown attempted to hold on to the ball to waste time and prevent the Gunners from a quick free kick.
The left back committed two called fouls during the match on Monday and was also the only player to be booked.
Investigators collecting evidence on FA Cup betting incident
According to The Times, bookmakers flagged the incident after an influx of bets player receiving a yellow card. Investigators are looking into the incident and collecting evidence. The biggest piece of evidence is a WhatsApp message from someone claiming Brown would be booked during the game. At the time, Brown receiving a yellow card was at 8/1 odds.
Oxford issued a statement regarding the issue following the match. “Oxford United can confirm that they have been made aware of a specific allegation of irregular betting around our game against Arsenal. The club will co-operate fully with any investigation,” claimed the club.
Authorities forced Brown to turn in his phone while the investigation continues. Also, interviewers will question him to find out any relationship with bettors. The investigation will also take into account the location of where the bets took place as well.
FA Cup has recent history of similar issues
Stratford Town defender Kynan Isaac and Lincoln City’s Bradley Wood received bans for similar offenses. Isaac received a 10-year ban for an intentional booking in 2021. Wood’s ban is six years following an incident in 2018. Both events occurred during FA Cup play.
PHOTO: IMAGO / News Images
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