England’s football association will investigate reports of spot-fixing surrounding the booking of Oxford United defender Ciaron Brown during the League One side’s 3-0 defeat by Arsenal in the FA Cup on Monday January 10.
The Daily Mail reported that “the FA have a dossier of evidence regarding supposed corruption, including alleged phone messages before kick off at the Kassam Stadium which claim that Brown would be booked in a betting scam that allegedly cost one bookmaker more than £1,600.”
The FA have received evidence of an alleged betting scam, including WhatsApp messages from before kick-off which claimed that Brown would definitely be booked during the third-round tie on Monday.
The 24-year-old Northern Ireland defender received a yellow card in the 59th minute of the match after fouling Bukayo Saka with the score 0-0 at the time.
Several punters claimed they won thousands of pounds after placing bets at odds of 8/1. In addition, eyewitnesses at the Kassam Stadium claim they saw several Arsenal fans celebrating wildly after Brown was booked and boasting of their winnings, although there is no suggestion they were involved in any criminal activity
An FA official said that the governing body was aware of the matter and would investigate.
In a statement on Wednesday, Brown’s club said: “Oxford United can confirm that they have been made aware of a specific allegation of irregular betting around our Emirates FA Cup game against Arsenal on Monday evening.
“The club will co-operate fully with any investigation and while this is ongoing, we are unable to make any further comment.”