EXCLUSIVE: Granit Xhaka BOMBSHELL as investigators investigate Arsenal star’s suspicious booking against Leeds in December, are told of possible criminal conspiracy involving Albanian mafia
- FA investigation into Granit Xhaka’s booking has been passed to National Crime Agency
- The FA’s investigation was triggered by suspicious gambling patterns that emerged
- Xhaka was booked by referee Andre Marriner for wasting time in Arsenal win
- Evidence Discovered of Cryptocurrency Stakes in Markets
Investigators investigating Granit Xhaka’s booking in Arsenal’s Premier League win in Leeds last season are investigating an alleged criminal conspiracy between the Albanian mafia and a former professional footballer convicted of match fixing.
Sports post revealed in June that the FA’s investigation into Xhaka’s bizarre yellow card for wasting time last December was passed on to the National Crime Agency, which leads Britain’s fight against serious and organized crime.
The FA’s investigation was set in motion by suspicious betting patterns that emerged towards the end of Arsenal’s 4-1 win at Elland Road, with £52,000 wagered on Xhaka being booked in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Xhaka was shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner after 86 minutes for delaying the taking of a free kick despite Arsenal winning 4-1 and taking full control of the game.
Video footage of the incident shows the midfielder standing over the ball for about 20 seconds deep in his own half before being booked.
The unusually high trading volume on the Betfair betting exchange may have just been the tip of the iceberg.
Investigators investigating Granit Xhaka’s booking in Arsenal’s win over Leeds last season investigate alleged criminal conspiracy
Xhaka was shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner (above) after 86 minutes for wasting time
Sports post has been told that the NCA investigators have found evidence of significant amounts of cryptocurrency wagered in markets not regulated in this country, with much of the activity allegedly taking place in Albania.
The NCA is also investigating claims that Alban Jusufi, a Swedish-Albanian striker who was banned for five years by Swedish courts in 2017 for match fixing, made huge sums by betting on Xhaka to get booked.
The 41-year-old was found guilty of bribing AIK goalkeeper Kyriakos Stamatopoulos for £150,000 to underperform for a derby against IFK Gothenburg in 2017. The Swedish FA postponed the match after the match fixing was reported.
Xhaka, who is expected to start for Arsenal at Crystal Palace on Friday night, was born in Basel and plays for Switzerland but is proud of his Albanian heritage. His older brother Taulant won 31 caps for the country.
During the 2018 World Cup, Xhaka was fined by FIFA for making a hand gesture to represent the Albanian national symbol of an eagle
Xhaka, 29, was fined by FIFA at the 2018 World Cup for making a hand gesture to represent the Albanian symbol of an eagle in Switzerland’s 2-1 win over Serbia.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part, nor is it clear who may be involved in a conspiracy.
Arsenal and the FA declined to comment on Thursday evening. Obviously they have not received any recent updates from the investigation team.