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A yellow card given to an Arsenal player earlier this season is under investigation for suspicious betting patterns.

The Athletic claims bookmakers flagged to the English Football Association an unusual amount of money placed on the player to receive a booking during a Premier League game.

They say the identity of the player is known, but they've refused to release it at this juncture.

An FA spokesperson said, "The FA is aware of the matter in question and is looking into it.” Arsenal have refused to comment.

Spot betting, ie the placing of bets on numbers of cards, throw-ins, corners etc is a regular concern for football authorities, but actual cases are few and far between.

However, in his autobiography former Southampton player Matthew Le Tissier revealed that he tried to make some money from a throw-in during a Premier League game with Wimbledon in 1995.

Writing in Taking Le Tiss, the noted Covid-sceptic wrote, "Spread betting had just started to become popular. It was a new idea which allowed punters to back anything from the final score to the first throw-in.

"There was a lot of money to be made by exploiting it. We were safe from the threat of relegation when we went to Wimbledon on April 17 and, as it was a televised match, there was a wide range of bets available.

"Obviously I'd never have done anything that might have affected the outcome of the match, but I couldn't see a problem with making a few quid on the time of the first throw-in.

"My team-mate had some friends with spread-betting accounts who laid some big bets for us. We stood to win well into four figures but if it went wrong we could have lost a lot of money.

The plan was for us to kick the ball straight into touch at the start of the game and then collect 56 times our stake. Easy money.

"It was set up nicely. The ball was to be rolled back to me and I would smash it into touch. It seemed to be going like clockwork. We kicked off, the ball was tapped to me and I went to hit it out towards Neil Shipperley on the left wing.

"As it was live on television I didn't want to make it too obvious or end up looking like a prat for miscuing the ball so I tried to hit it just over his head. But with so much riding on it I was a bit nervous and didn't give it quite enough welly.

"The problem was that Shipperley knew nothing about the bet and managed to reach it and even head it back into play.

"I have never run so much in my life. If there had been Pro Zone analysis back then my stats would have been amazing for the next minute as I charged around the pitch desperately trying to kick the ball out of play.

"Suddenly it was no longer a question of winning money. We stood to lose a lot of cash if it went much longer than 75 seconds before the ball went out.

"I had visions of guys coming to kneecap me. Eventually we got the ball out on 70 seconds. The neutral time meant we had neither won nor lost. I have never tried spread betting since."

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