Paqueta to stay in Brazil squad ahead of Copa America as he fights spot-fixing charges in England

West Ham's Lucas Paqueta, left, challenges for the ball with Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, England, Sunday, May 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Lucas Paqueta can continue to play for Brazil while he fights spot-fixing charges by the English Football Association, his national team said Thursday.

Paqueta, who plays his club soccer for West Ham, is alleged to have deliberately received yellow cards during Premier League matches to influence betting markets.

He was charged with misconduct on May 23 and faces a long ban if found guilty by English soccer authorities.

Paqueta immediately took to social media to deny the charges, vowing to “fight with every breath to clear my name,” but has until Monday to formally respond to the allegations. The English FA has acknowledged that Paqueta may request for an extension before issuing his official response.

In a long statement on Thursday, the Brazilian Football Confederation said it was aware of the allegations and contacted the English FA for information.

Based on the English FA's responses, confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues Gomes said Paqueta will stay in Brazil's squad ahead of the Copa America starting June 20 and remains free to play in upcoming friendlies against Mexico and the United States.


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