The Football Association are looking into suspicious betting patterns around a yellow card shown to an Arsenal player in a Premier League match this season.

Considerable sums are understood to have been gambled on the card being shown and bookmakers alerted the authorities to a flurry of in-game activity.

‘The FA is aware of the matter in question and is looking into it,’ said an FA spokesman. At present, however, it is not a formal investigation.

Spot-fixing can be a major problem for bookmakers because punters are able to win large amounts on seemingly innocuous aspects of a contest which do not automatically affect the result, and therefore attract little attention

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Betting on small events or occurrences to take place in any sport is know as spot betting and ‘spot-fixing’, if that event is found to have been deliberately orchestrated by a player or team to win a bet. 

Seemingly tiny moments in a match such as the timing or nature of a booking, a corner at a specific moment or any number of things, can in fact be worth tens of thousands of pounds. 

Instances of spot-fixing in English football have been few and far between, particularly in comparison to other leagues around the world less flush with cash. 

But punishments can be severe and in 2018, Bradley Wood was banned for six years for deliberately picking up cautions during Lincoln City’s FA Cup run that season. 

Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier admitted to trying it, writing in his autobiography that he ‘tried to make a few quid at the timing of the first throw in’.

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He attempted to kick the ball out of play but it was stopped by a team-mate. Hampshire police investigated but it was not deemed in the public interest so no action was taken.

Spot-fixing tends to be more common in tennis and cricket and rose to prominence in 2010 during a scandal involving the Pakistan cricket team.

It was judged that Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif deliberately bowled no-balls on specific deliveries as part of a conspiracy involving Salman Butt.

Amir and Asif were banned for five and seven years respectively and Butt hit hardest with a 10 year ban. All three were also given prison sentences, with Butt given the longest time at 30 months.

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