Soccer-Paqueta to remain with Brazil's Copa America squad despite FA charges

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - West Ham United v SC Freiburg - London Stadium, London, Britain - March 14, 2024 West Ham United's Lucas Paqueta celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta will remain with their Copa America squad despite the English FA having charged him over alleged breaches of betting rules, the Brazilian FA (CBF) said on Thursday.

The CBF said it had discussions with the English FA before deciding to keep Paqueta in Dorival Junior's squad preparing for friendlies against Mexico and the United States next month ahead of the June 20-July 14 continental tournament.

"Given the facts reported by the English Federation, the CBF, supported by the joint opinion from the Legal and Governance and Compliance Directorates and the Integrity Unit, has decided to maintain the player's call-up," the CBF said in a statement signed by president Ednaldo Rodrigues.

Paqueta was charged last week by the FA with deliberately seeking to receive a booking during four Premier League games in 2022 and 2023. The 26-year-old, who has until June 3 to respond to the charges, has denied any wrongdoing.

"Based on the information provided by the FA, it is categorically concluded that the player Lucas Paqueta, despite the behaviour for which he was accused authorising preventive removal (from the squad) ... has not been penalised to date by the prosecuting body authorised to sanction him," the CBF added.

"It is right to say that the player is free to perform his professional job until the present moment, the source of his livelihood and that of his family, in a full and unrestricted manner, whether for his club or his country's national team."

(Reportung by y Rodrigo Viga Gaier, writing by Janina Nuno Rios; Editing by Camila Moreira and Ken Ferris)

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