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Xhaka under investigation by National Crime Agency

BREAKING: Former Arsenal skipper under investigation following suspicious betting activity

June 17, 2022 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The booking the player took in the Gunners' clash with Leeds United is being investigated by the National Crime Agency.

The National Crime Agency is looking into Granit Xhaka's yellow card against Leeds United, amid concerns of a big scandal stemming from unusual betting activity on his booking. The Swiss midfielder was booked for timewasting despite his side recording a 4-1 win over the Peacocks.

Back in December 2021, the English FA issued a statement that it was going to investigate the 'mysterious booking' picked up by Xhaka in the Matchday 18 encounter. Martinelli's brace and a goal apiece by Saka and Smith Rowe had already put Arsenal in a comfortable position. However, in the 86th minute, the Gunners registered their first booking of the game from referee Andre Marriner for time wasting. Xhaka was the culprit and his crime was that he had delayed the taking a free-kick.

The referee's call would have normally been overlooked but an investigation became neccessary when a large bet of about £52,000 placed on the Swizerland international to be booked inside the final 10 minutes of the game. According to the Daily Mail, the leading bookmakers who reported the incident to the FA stated that the sum was far more than what is usually wagered on yellow cards.

Another notable aspect of the incident was that the odds on the betting exchange for Xhaka being booked were greater in the final 10 minutes than they had been before kickoff, further stirring suspicions. It has been six months since the probing began and the FA have now referred the matter to the UK's leading organised crime agency in a bid to bring finality to the matter. 

While there is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Arsenal or Xhaka, the revelation raises serious questions about corruption and possible criminality.


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